But even if the games did involve skill, investigators suggested, they would still be illegal under another provision of the state gambling law that prohibits the use of such machines for games that provide cash, merchandise or other items of value.
With the new law, towns and cities lost the authority to license machines such as those that were operated at Lucky 7.
In a letter to the city, the Parisi family has also questioned Gloucester about the $100 per machine fee that the family paid to the city for permitting in 2011 and again in 2012. Technically, in those two years, the city was not authorized to permit the machines.
City legal counsel Suzanne Egan did not return calls for comment.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at email@example.com.