DANVERS — Seven months after state and local police shut down their arcades in Gloucester and Danvers, Lucky 7 proprietors Sam and Rosalie Parisi were surrounded by friends and family yesterday as their attorney relayed the charges now filed by the state attorney general’s office at Gloucester District Court.
The Parisis and their attorney, John Swomley of the Boston-based firm Swomley & Tennen LLP, appeared briefly in court with Assistant Attorney General Thomas Ralph, the head of the attorney general’s office’s Cyber Crime Division.
The only topic discussed was arranging a pre-trial date, which is set for March 24. Swomley declined to comment on the legal proceedings.
According to the attorney general’s office, Lucky 7 Arcade LLC is facing one charge of unlawful operation of a game or gaming device and one charge of organizing or promoting a lottery.
The company is the only defendant in the case. None of the Parisis is criminally charged individually; Rosalie is listed as the manager of the company, while her daughter, Jeannine, had been running the Gloucester facility.
On June 11, state and local authorities abruptly froze the family-owned corporation’s bank accounts and seized motherboards, computers and gift cards in both Lucky 7 arcades — at the original site on Rogers Street in Gloucester and at the arcade’s Liberty Tree Mall location in Danvers, which had opened less than a year earlier.
The arcades allowed a customer to pay to play Lucky 7’s computerized games, to win games on the machines and, after accumulating enough points, to redeem them for gift cards to local restaurants and other businesses. The arcades and their games, however, did not pay off in cash.
An affidavit released last summer detailed a six-month investigation by undercover state troopers.
In the warrant applications, an FBI forensic examiner determined that there was no skill involved in games at the Lucky 7, and that the machines themselves are programmed to prevent the player from having any affect on the outcome of the game.