SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 25, 2014

Lucky 7 to fight charges from AG

(Continued)

Coakley’s office has cracked down on Internet cafes and phone card lotteries in an effort to quell illegal gambling, resulting in both civil and criminal cases.

Sam Parisi, Rosalie’s husband, has said the family had done everything to comply with state law, including acquiring approval from various departments and boards in Danvers and Gloucester, approval from the Division of Standards for the machines and letters of support from state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester. The city, as well as Danvers, accepted licensing fees annually to host each gaming machines.

Parisi suggested that under the state’s gaming law, businesses like Chuck E. Cheese’s — which has a location in Danvers — or the national chain Dave and Busters could easily be considered in violation, as well. Both chains offer games and machines that pay off in prizes.

During her Gloucester visit, however, Coakley said she sees establishments such as the Lucky 7 as a different matter.

“I haven’t been to Chuck E. Cheese’s lately,” Coakley said, “but my understanding is that places such as those may have these games, but they’re ancillary to the businesses. Their business is as a restaurant — serving food, then this is entertainment.

“My understanding of (Lucky 7) is that the sole business is a form of gaming,” Coakely added. “Regardless of how it pays — whether gift certificates or not — it’s not a restaurant, it’s in the sole business of operating games, so it’s quite different, in my mind.”

The arcade’s expansion into Danvers and opening at Liberty Tree Mall had drawn questions from town officials.

At that time, there was one dissenting vote by Gardner Trask, who now chairs the Board of Selectmen.

“I was concerned at the time about the legitimacy of the enterprise,” he said yesterday, adding that he did not file a complaint with the AG’s office.

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