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August 5, 2013

Lucky 7 questions focus on state law

Two months after a June 11 state raid of Gloucester’s Lucky 7 Arcade froze the business’s bank account and pulled machine motherboards, gift cards and computers from their locations in Gloucester and Danvers, the phone line at the Rogers Street location is disconnected and the lights remain out.

But the state has still not yet pressed any charges against the business or the Gloucester family that owns and operates both facilities.

Under the statute of limitations, the state could hang on to the seized assets for up to five years, while owners Rosalie and Sam Parisi, who operated the business as a family enterprise, wait.

Though the family has remained mostly silent since the bust, on the day of the raid, Janine Parisi, the owners’ daughter who runs the Gloucester location, said the raid and closing of the arcades had rocked her family, many of whom work at the two locations or depend on their revenues.

“We’re pretty shook up ...,” Parisi said at the time. “This is our life, this is our business. Our whole family works for this.”

No one from the family could be reached for comment or returned phone calls last week.

The shut down was the latest in a series of investigations by the Attorney General’s office into similar businesses. Since 2010, Coakley’s office has shut down a number of Internet cafes that allow patrons to purchase Internet time, primarily to use that time for gambling on electronic screens.

This past August, Gov. Deval Patrick signed into law legislation that created a new charge “for conducting or promoting an unauthorized sweepstakes that is executed through the use of the display of an electronic machine,” according to statement’s from the Attorney General’s office. Those charges would carry a penalty of up to $250,000 per machine and/or a state prison sentence of up to 15 years.

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