The Fun Spot Cafe's grand opening seems to have hit a snag.
The business at 4130 East Joppa Road in Perry Hall, which featured large red "Sweepstakes" and "Grand Opening" signs, had just opened in September. But on Wednesday afternoon, a small handwritten sign on the front door read "Closed" and a police car sat in front of the entrance.
Detectives remained inside of Fun Spot Cafe as of 4 p.m. and more than 30 computers had already been removed, according to a police officer on the scene.
The business was one of 10 so-called sweepstakes parlors or Internet cafes raided by Baltimore County police on Wednesday morning, Patch reported. The parlors are suspected of facilitating illegal online gambling. Equipment raids were conducted on Wednesday, but no one has yet been arrested, according to police.
Workers at businesses in the Festival At Perry Hall Shopping Center told Patch they were surprised by the police presence on Wednesday, but had suspected that Fun Spot Cafe's business practices were illegal.
"I think everyone knew it was illegal gambling. They even had signs up. I don't know how they lasted this long," said Harmony Quinn, director of nearby White Marsh Child Care.
Quinn said she is highly conscious of safety around the shopping center, and hadn't noticed any changes to the center's atmosphere after Fun Spot Cafe's opening.
"I haven't seen any shady people hanging around. It hasn't really impacted us," she said.
But according to Abby Beers, manager of Edible Arrangements at the center, the Internet cafe attracted crowds late at night. She believed it was related to gambling.
"I walked in once, but we didn't ever really know what it was," Beers said.