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Federal judge rules sweepstakes machines on Oahu are illegal

By Star Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:42 p.m. HST, May 1, 2014

A federal judge has ruled the sweepstakes gaming machines police have seized from several arcades on Oahu violate the state's gambling laws.

In a ruling on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi said "no reasonable jury would believe plaintiff's story" that the gaming machines sell a legitimate product -- a discount coupon to purchase merchandise on a website -- and offer free sweepstakes only as a way to attract customers.

Kobayashi said that the amount of coupons bought compared with the lack of coupons being redeemed showed that customers were using the Products Direct Sweepstakes game machines for gambling.

PJY Enterprises LLC, which distributes the machines, originally sued for return of the machines seized in raids.

Since September 2012 law enforcement officials have raided a number of the parlors and seized more than 100 of the machines.

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