.

Perry Hall 'Sweepstakes' Raided, Nearby Businesses Not Surprised

Area workers suspected that Fun Spot Cafe's business practices were illegal.

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.

PerryHallParent October 25, 2012 at 11:02 AM
The management companies who approved their leases and didn't keep track of the illegal activities going on in THEIR storefronts should be called out on this as well. Just because you are the management that takes the rent money doesn't mean you shouldn't be aware of what is going on inside of the properties YOU own.
Tim October 25, 2012 at 01:25 PM
"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. Well gee Harmony, maybe because you and others who noticed it didn't report it sooner?
PatchTroll October 25, 2012 at 03:09 PM
I went here and the guy said "me no call a casino me call a sweepstakes; casino illegal". well now hes saying" me no call a casino Me call a unemployment". ME DONT CALL A CASINO ME CAUGHT A CHARGE. LOL
Emily Kimball (Editor) October 25, 2012 at 04:26 PM
Hi Tim, Readers have told me that the business had been reported multiple times to the police earlier, but actions were held until a countywide police effort could be coordinated.
Tim October 25, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Thanks for setting the record straight then, Emily, as this wasn't covered in the article. Too many people these days stand and 'mind their own business' when things like this happen around them. We see it every day.
joe October 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
this is obnoxious, to me this is nothing more than a waste of our money for pointless raids. why is it ok for the state to run state-wide lotteries, but enterprises can't? we can thank our socialist government for implementing inhibiting our economic and personal rights.
Jason October 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Casinos are highly regulated by the State Gaming Board. They ensure casino operators are not operated by the mob. Chances are these so called Sweepstakes are controlled by the mob.
Pete R. October 25, 2012 at 09:04 PM
There are similar places in North Carolina, but are Legal, their deal is that they give free phone time to GIs overseas and some how North Carolina has approved it. I would not want this type of business in our neighborhood. Marylands' big beef is they are not getting a cut of the sales..( TAXES ) just too Shady and it will eventually have big issues I am sure. Keep them out!
RK October 26, 2012 at 01:51 AM
The police don't seem to bother the bars that have slot machines that people put lots of money in to play for "fun". Sure!
Stephen October 26, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Saw yesterday that the BP on Belair Rd (just south of ChickFilA) has 5 or 6 "Internet" stations set up. What do these owners think? There may be a loophole to provide for product sweepstakes (McDonalds Monopoly), however, when the sweepstakes is the product it is gambling and not the intent of the law.
Sweets October 26, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Whyyyy does it matter goodness?
Aji Baba November 02, 2012 at 12:11 PM
You people have now idea what you are talking about. These businesses are legal and no gambling takes place . These businesses sell a product and give you sweepstakes entries and you have a chance to win prizes in the form of cash. . This is completely legal and is goverend by the FTC. Get your facts straight. This place has been raided illegally and without a detailed inveatigation. I guarantee this place will not be charged.
Latoya brown November 04, 2012 at 12:43 AM
I agree with u aji it's gonna be some sad faces come the next week or so cause they opening back up and all the owners are sueing them because they went in with unsigned warrants and took money and the computers after they all paid there taxes on them. If this was illegal do u really think these owners was gonna keep this going no its not like 1 place were busted but 10 come on something is not right I went to my favorite hidden treasures today and sign reads close until further notice then hotspot signs reads opening back up soon I just wish the law would leave these businesses alone and worry about the crime that's going on out here.
Latoya brown November 04, 2012 at 12:54 AM
Listen up people this world would be a better place if people would mind their damn business if they say internet is illegal then all that shit should be illegal md live md lottery perry vile scratch offs bingo and etc because its all gambling. Those asseholes like David Waite and the owner of old Philadelphia inn and the liquor store they just had to add there side of the story and David I know u very well u racist for one and bored and opi was just upset cause his customers will come over and play and the liquor store owner please everybody was coming over to play their lottery in your store so these asses shouldn't been critizing because everyone was doing business and minding there own at the same time no arguments no fights no county cops in the parking lot it's crazy because theses places shouldn't been touch at all unless it was drugs and guns fights and killing going on there these place were calm and comfortable.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something