Mass. AG announces indictments against Internet cafe owners

By Bryan Cohen | May 10, 2013

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) -- Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley on Tuesday announced indictments against the owners of a Revere-based Internet cafe and their corporation on charges of operating an illegal slot parlor.

Robert Kelly, Brian Symmes and Lucky Day Cyber Café LLC, Symmes and Kelly's corporation, allegedly unlawfully operated a game or gaming device, organized or promoted a lottery, operated an illegal lottery, allowed lotteries in a building and sold lottery tickets.

Kelly and Symmes operated B&B Cyber Café through their corporation. Under state law, it is illegal to promote or run a gambling operation.

"We allege that this business was a front for an illegal gambling operation," Coakley said in a statement. "These defendants allegedly violated state gambling laws intended to prevent this very behavior to run an unregulated slot parlor that did not provide any protections for consumers."

In February 2012, Coakley's office started looking into the operation of B&B. It alleged that patrons of the cafe were paying almost exclusively for the right to gamble. B&B ceased operation in the wake of the attorney general's inquiry.

In June 2011, Coakley's office issued permanent civil regulations under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act to ban the operation of cyber cafes and similar establishments throughout the state.

In August, Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation into law to further enhance the criminal penalties for illegal gambling at cyber cafes.

For engaging in unauthorized sweepstakes, cyber cafe owners can pay up to $250,000 for each offending machine and can be imprisoned for up to 15 years in state prison.

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