HILO >> A Hilo arcade owner whose business has twice been the subject of police gambling raids has filed a lawsuit in hopes of stopping future searches and seizures.
Triple 7 Amusement owner Lance Yamada has filed a lawsuit against Hawaii Police Chief Harry Kubojiri and Prosecuting Attorney Mitch Roth seeking a court order stopping the seizure of computers used to operate games at the arcade, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.
Yamada’s attorney, Brian De Lima, argued in the lawsuit that Triple 7 should be allowed to operate without disruption unless the court determines the games being operated at the arcade are illegal gambling devices. The lawsuit also seeks unspecified damages if a gambling raid happens without those conditions being met.
“My client’s a businessman,” De Lima said. “He gets opinions from the manufacturer of these games that they’re legal under Hawaii law. So he puts them in. He invites the police to come and take a look at the machines and advise him if there are any problems. He does all that. And after doing all that, after being in operation for months, they come and execute a search warrant. No cease-and-desist letter, nothing like that. They just come and seize all of his equipment.”
Police executed search warrants in July 2012 and in March, seizing what were described as suspected illegal gambling machines. Yamada was not charged as a result of either raid.
Roth and Hawaii County Corporation Counsel litigation chief Laureen Martin say they have not been served with the lawsuit and cannot comment on litigation.