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Sweepstakes Machines Lead to Arrests in Honolulu

Sweepstakes Machines Lead to Arrests in Honolulu

Authorities in Honolulu are cracking down on the sweepstakes machine industry and last week arrested four people. In total nine people have been named in what could be Honolulu’s largest gambling indictment.

The arrests came a few days after a federal judge ruled that sweepstakes machines are illegal. Included in those arrested was Tracy Yoshimura, the state’s largest distributor of sweepstakes machines. Yoshimura was charged with 117 counts including promoting gambling and illegal owning or operating of a business.

Yoshimura said, “We tried to do the things the right way all along”. He went on to say, “Being that the judge just released the ruling two days ago, no nobody knew what the legal status of it was until the court determined it two days ago. We shut down equipment immediately after it this morning, by 7 o’clock everything was shut off.”

However, there was evidence that sweepstakes arcades owned by Yoshimura were back in operation just days after the judge issued his ruling.

Also arrested was Eugene Simeona who owns two sweepstakes locations. Simeona was charged with 41 counts including money laundering, promoting gambling and illegally owning or operating a business.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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