Gambling Raids Net 33 Machines and Three Arrests
Big Island police armed with search warrants raided three locations in Hilo Friday, seizing 33 suspected illegal gambling machines, suspected gambling records and large amounts of cash. They also arrested an employee at each establishment on suspicion of promoting gambling.
Police today said those arrested were 47-year-old Paul Lagat of Kea`au at Tilt Amusement Center located at 111 E. Puainako St., 39-year-old Serena Valenzuela of Pahoa at Da Little Game Shack at 165 E. Kawili St., and 50-year-old Lance Yamada of Hilo at 777 Arcade at 500 Manono St.
All three were released without charges pending further investigation.
The raids were the result of an investigation using undercover officers and tips from the public.
“The Hawaiʻi Police Department thanks the public for providing tips and information that assisted police with the disruption of these suspected illegal gambling operations,” Lt. Burt Shimabukuro of the Area I Vice Section said in a statement.
This was the second series of gambling raids announced by Big Island police this year.
In March, police raided Reel Fun Amusements on Kilauea Avenue and a similar establishment in Kailua-Kona, arresting a husband-wife team of alleged operators and an employee for promotion of gambling. Ten others allegedly playing the games were arrested on suspicion of gambling.