Sweepstakes machine company sues city over gambling seizure

City & County of Honolulu, HPD cited in lawsuit

Published  12:55 PM HST Oct 15, 2012
Sweepstakes Machines Raid
HONOLULU -

 Are sweepstakes machines gambling? That question will be decided in a Hawaii courtroom, after the distributor of sweepstakes machines sues the city and police to return dozens of seized machines.

Last month, nearly 80 machines were taken from six Winnerz Zone arcades.

Honolulu police had conducted a six month gambling investigation, and the prosecutor's office stated the seizures were just the first step in the legal process.

But following the seizure no arrests were made, and no charges have been filed.

Businesses would have to wait 30 days until their seized property would have to be returned, but an attorney for the Hawaii businesses said his clients are losing money and can't wait. He claims the sweepstakes devices are no different than other machines that sell internet time, or phone cards in Hawaii.

A preliminary injunction was filed today to return the machines, while an earlier complaint demanded the city prosecutor stop infringing on the rights of businesses. Those affected businesses are also suing for monetary damages.

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