GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 13, 2013

Lucky 7 raid drawing questions

A day after state and local police shut down the Lucky 7 Arcades in both Gloucester and at Danvers’ Liberty Tree Mall, authorities were still not citing any specific wrongdoing, and had still not filed any charges as of Wednesday.

But a number of customers of the older Gloucester arcade called the Times Wednesday to voice their support for a business that has earned praise in the past from Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr as an “outstanding corporate citizen.”

A woman’s voice on the answering machine at the number of the Gloucester location Wednesday was the same as the previous afternoon: “We will be closed until further notice, sorry for the inconvenience,” she said.

In Danvers, town officials were wondering anew whether the casino-like arcade was legal. Its owner, Rosalie Parisi, who runs the business with her husband Sam and their daughter, Janine, as manager of the Gloucester outlet, have long maintained that Lucky 7 simply offers arcade games for adults, with prizes such as gift certificates to restaurants and other local businesses.

Brad Puffer, a spokesman for the Attorney General office, said Wednesday his office cannot comment on ongoing investigations. Puffer confirmed, however, that the Attorney General’s office executed a search warrant on the premises.

While the reasons for state shutting down Lucky 7 Arcade was not known, part of the reasoning may depend on whether the slot machine devices require skill, like an amusement game, or depend on chance or a sweepstakes to pay off. A lot may also depend on the state’s 2011 gaming law as it relates to slot machines, as this law tightened the definitions surrounding amusement devices, saying slot machines are not amusement devices like pinball machines.

At the urging of now selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask, Danvers officials last year inquired of Lucky 7 and all other holders of coin operated amusement device licenses whether their machines complied with the state’s 2012 Cyber Cafe law. This law was aimed at cracking down on store owners who were selling Internet time, but who were, the state alleges, operating online casinos with a chance to play a sweepstakes.

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