SAN BERNARDINO (AP) — San Bernardino County prosecutors say some local Internet cafes were actually fronts for illegal gambling operations.

The district attorney’s office on Tuesday charged three business owners with possessing or keeping slot machines or devices.

The charges follow raids by the Sheriff’s Department in Hesperia last March.

Officials say Internet cafes tend to be located in strip malls, though some are standalone businesses. Customers buy Internet time on a card, which they swipe at a station inside the cafe. After swiping, they are awarded points that give them a chance to win cash. Customers then have the option to play gambling-themed games.

District Attorney Michael Ramos says cafe owners think they can get around the law because the gambling software is run out of state.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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