If you want to gamble don't do it here in the islands. That's the message from the Honolulu Prosecutor who's cracking down on illegal gaming.
This comes after Police charged nine people involved in owning or operating illegal gambling operations on Oahu. About 200 sweepstakes arcade machines were seized by Police during raids in 2012 and 2013. It involved seven different businesses across 14 locations.
The suspect at the forefront of this case is Tracy Yoshimura who has 257 charges against him for racketeering, promoting grambling and money laundering. Yoshimura has been arrested.
He's along with seven others including three that turned themselves in to police Monday. Mike Miller, Quentin Canencia and Desiree Haina were arrested at HPD's headquarters.
Police have also arrested Eugene Simeona, Clayton Simeona, Alexander Alejandro and Gary Danley. The last suspect still out is Mike Madali and we're told he's coming in from the mainland.
Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro says that investigations into other sweepstakes arcades are still happening but it doesn't stop there. The prosecutor has a message for gamblers. He says that police have videos of everybody that went into these businesses and although they haven't charged anyone yet, they may start looking into that.
"This is a clear warning to everyone to stay away from these establishments because it's an illegal establishment involving illegal activity when you gamble and you may be victim of crimes," said Keith Kaneshiro, Honolulu Prosecutor.
Last week, a federal Judge ruled that sweepstakes machines are a form of gambling. Because of that decision, an attorney for eight of the nine people indicted says his clients have disabled the sweepstakes machines and plans to eventually move them out.
Prosecutor Kaneshiro expects the eight people arrested in this case to be arraigned in circuit court within the next few days.