(Joe Ybarra Reporting)
Visalia police busted an illegal gambling operation.
Officers closed the Dreamland and Wonderland Internet Cafes on Tuesday following a three month undercover investigation.
Investigators say customers were using the computers to gamble for cash.
Business owners around illegal operations say they're glad the businesses are closed because they attract shady activity like prostitution and drug use.
Sergeant Ozzie Dominguez says customers were buying phone cards and using them to gamble on keno, blackjack and slots. "We realized what was really going on was an illegal gambling operation."
Myla Sanchez works next door to Dreamland and says the machines were loud. "You hear the machine, like the noise is the same noise as a casino, the same music, you hear the same thing."
It wasn't the gaming that bothered her, it was the people the business attracted, like pimps, prostitutes and drug dealers. "I see them talking to their pimps, I see like drug dealing. I see them handing out little white packages and handing out money," said Sanchez.
Police seized all of the machines, the computers, laptops and cash.
Three employees were cited and released.
Customers we spoke to compared the games to lottery scratchers and say the results are pre-determined.
Sergeant Dominguez said, "The Attorney General has already looked into this type of operation, this sweepstakes, and they've already determined that this does constitute illegal gambling."
Police say the business owners could be facing charges but it's up to the District Attorney's Office to make that decision.
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