California's Department of Justice teamed up with Milpitas police on Wednesday and raided an internet cafe. Monte Francis reports.
California's Department of Justice teamed up with Milpitas police on Wednesday and raided an internet cafe.
Officers executed a search warrant related to illegal online gambling at Net Connection, located in a strip mall on 1343 Jacklin Road, and seized dozens of computers. Authorities posted a notice on the cafe's door and said property seized during the raid may be part of an "unlawful gambling operation."
In addition, police detained and questioned several of the cafe's patrons in the parking lot. Police said seven people were arrested for "various on-view charges" unrelated to the search warrant.
"There's just various criminal activity that was occurring that citizens in the neighborhood and surrounding businesses were complaining about," Milpitas Police Lt. Sandy Holliday said.
Linda Nguyen, who owns a restaurant next door, said when the cafe opened two years ago it brought with it a questionable clientele.
"I've just noticed a lot of action here for a while now," she said.
Internet cafes operating an illegal gambling operation are known as "sweepstakes cafes," authorities said. The cafes have prompted legal fights in several states because they try to skirt gambling laws by claiming to charge customers for only internet time.
But officials said the cafes instead are providing access to video slot machines and other games on a software server.
California's Bureau of Gaming Control issued an advisory last year warning sweepstakes cafes are illegal under state law.
Milpitas police said an investigation is ongoing.
NBC Bay Area was unable to reach Net Connection's owner for comment.