Southern Brooklyn

Fidler And Williams Team Up To Crack Down On Illegal Gambling

This probably isn’t legal (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Councilmembers Lew Fidler and Jumaane D. Williams passed legislation that they hope will crack down on illegal gambling in the city. According to the press release, the bill, which passed by a 49-to-0 vote in the City Council, specifically targets illegal activity in new gaming cafes that have been establishing themselves in neighborhoods across the city.

The gaming cafes are often marketed as internet cafes, but also promote sweepstakes and other prizes for playing online games in their establishments. According to the pols, some cafes abuse legal loopholes in the law by offering cash prizes or awards for certain activities. Councilman Williams highlighted the importance of closing these loopholes and what it means for communities across the city.

“The message that Intro 1035-A sends is clear; we will under no circumstances tolerate businesses that attempt to take advantage of legal loopholes in order to prey on lower-income individuals,” Williams said in the release.

The press release explained the  source of this new phenomenon.

Council Members Williams and Fidler have been advocating against the proliferation of illegal gambling at internet sweepstakes cafes since they discovered establishments that had opened in and around their districts, including Lucky Spot NYC, Reels of Fortune and Monopoly Cafe. Since then, they have worked with local community boards to ask DCA to examine this issue, several of these locations have closed down or been investigated by the NYPD. The council members have also discovered advertisements for similar cafes located in all five boroughs.

According to a New York Post report, the NYPD has shut down nine internet cafes since November and arrested eight people affiliated with their operation.

Comment policy


  1. The NY politicians want to prevent money being siphoned off to gambling establishments, money that they themselves could be stealing from their “constituents”.

  2. Anyone remember when this picture or one similar to it was one of ten paintings that adorned the outside of Lundy’s in the early 1990s before it reopened?

  3. It is dangerous to screw around with the New York State monopoly on gambling. Also “private enterprise” is a dirty word in the Peoples Republic-the “great” state of New York.

  4. Good points by you and bill. The government can run gambling, but private sector can’t. Just like many in the government don’t have join Social Security, they can actually make money on their savings instead. I suspect they will also be exempt from Obamacare. It’s a riot when government makes laws for the people and then exempts itself; or declares itself a monopoly and punishes or disallows private “monopolists”, like this gambling example

  5. I’m afraid this will be even more disappointing for you: government also has a monopoly on armed forces and courts.

    Also, while everyone (even government employees) has to pay Social Security tax, nobody is required to take Social Security payments.

  6. Good for you fixing your mistake. Still does not change why you said it and what you implied. Correct me if im wrong but you were trying to say that the govt. has “armed forces” and “courts” to do what they want?

  7. By “government” we mean not only its executive branch, but the “U.S. Federal Government” as summarized here:

    Thus, Congress (Legislative branch of the U.S. Federal Government) has The Power to Raise and Maintain Armed Forces:

    Article. I.
    Section. 8.
    The Congress shall have Power […]
    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
    To provide and maintain a Navy;
    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;


    Article. II.
    Section. 2.
    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;

    See also:

    Constitution also establishes Judiciary branch of U.S. Federal Government by laying the foundation of it in the form of “one supreme Court”:

    Article III.
    Section. 1.
    The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish.

    See also:

    TL;DR: yes.

  8. […] Our sister site, Sheepshead Bites, previously covered the issue of illegal gaming cafes that market themselves as internet cafes but promote sweepstakes and other prizes in their establishments. These cafes take advantage of legal loopholes by offering cash prizes or awards for certain activities for playing online games. The new bill, which passed by a 49-0 vote in the Council, requires the Department of Consumer Affairs to revoke the license of any gaming cafe or arcade that offers cash as a prize. […]

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