The Loco Leprechaun and Infinity 2, both in Westlake, were two of six Internet cafés raided today in Cuyahoga County.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty served search warrants at six Cuyahoga County Internet Cafes and the corporate offices of a major sweepstakes technology provider in New Jersey. The search warrants are part of investigations into whether illegal gambling is taking place at the sweepstakes establishments.
"Today's search warrants will gather evidence that we expect will build a case that illegal gambling has been taking place at these establishments," DeWine said in a press release. "These establishments advertised themselves like casinos, provided patrons with slot-machine-like games, and yet thought they could conduct illegal gambling simply by calling it a ‘sweepstakes.’"
Loco Leprechaun is a popular Mexican-Irish cantina located on Center Ridge Road. A source at Loco Leprechuan said the establishment was open and had no additional comment.
Infinity 2 is located in the Savannah Commons. It is affiliated with Infinity 1 in Canterbury Plaza and Inifinity 3 in North Olmsted. Only Infinity 2 was raided. A phone number at Infinity 2 rang busy.
McGinty called it a “plague of illegal Internet casinos.”
"All of these law enforcement agencies have teamed together to put a stop to the plague of illegal Internet casinos that are ripping off the elderly and vulnerable with their unregulated slot machines and funneling the millions they are raking in to their out of state and overseas operators,” McGinty said in a press release. “They and their lobbyists in Ohio, Florida, and New Jersey have been laughing all the way to the bank. Well, the party is over and we plan on walking them right into jail.”
Warrants were also served at Crystal Sports Bar; Collinwood Sweepstakes Café, both in Cleveland, Emerald Isle in Euclid; and Players Club in Euclid.
The sweep is part of a collaborative investigation by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office working in connection with the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Ohio Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Parma Heights Police Department, and several law enforcement agencies in the state of New Jersey.
While DeWine is supporting the local law enforcement investigations, he is still calling for the passage of HB 7 to establish regulations upon sweepstakes establishments