comscore New gambling-machine sweep targets Lucky Touch arcades | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News

New gambling-machine sweep targets Lucky Touch arcades

Honolulu Star-Advertiser logo
Unlimited access to premium stories for as low as $12.95 /mo.
Get It Now
    A Lucky Touch game arcade in Kalihi was one of five raided by police this week, with 60 Products Direct Sweepstakes machines seized along with gambling records. No one was arrested.

Police seized dozens of alleged gambling machines this week in a new sweep of Oahu game arcades, a move criticized by a lawyer for the arcades since a state court could rule next month on whether such seizures should continue.

Police vice officers executed search warrants Thursday at five Lucky Touch game arcades in Kalihi, Aiea and the Ala Moana area and seized 60 Products Direct Sweepstakes machines along with gambling records, police said.

Police said no one was arrested, but officers opened multiple cases of second-degree promotion of gambling.

Lucky Touch Arcade is the second arcade chain to be targeted by police and the city prosecutor. In September police raided six Winner’z Zone arcades and seized 77 Products Direct Sweepstakes machines.

City Prosecutor Keith Kane­shiro warned businesses and their patrons in September to stay away from those machines, calling them illegal gambling devices, and said police and prosecutors were also looking at other types of machines.

Attorney Keith Kiu­chi, who represents PJY Enterprises, the local distributor of the Products Direct Sweepstakes machines and who does legal work for Winner’z Zone, contends the sweepstakes machines are not gambling devices since players need not pay to play. He said they are similar to the McDonald’s Monopoly game in which cash and prizes are awarded to players who may write in for game pieces.

Kiuchi has asked the court for a temporary restraining order regarding the city’s seizure of Winner’z Zone’s machines, and said a judge is expected to rule in January. Written legal arguments were due Wednesday.

"You’ve got a judge making the decision, and you go off and seize more machines?" Kiu­chi said. "It’s like telling the judge you don’t care what the judge thinks."

He noted the judge did not allow the city’s expert witness to testify about the Products Direct machines during arguments on the restraining order. Kiu­chi said the expert has no experience in the nonregulated gaming industry and has never been hired to look at these machines.

A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office declined comment Friday, saying Thursday’s raids were part of the same investigation involving Winner’z Zone.

The Police Department said it will continue to investigate similar establishments.

Comments have been disabled for this story...

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up