When Massachusetts Raided Fairhaven and Fall River Internet Cafes

Casino gaming has been legal in Massachusetts since then-Governor Deval Patrick signed the Expanded Gaming Act into law on November 22, 2011.

Months before Patrick acted, Fall River City Councilman Leo Pelletier launched a gaming project of his own.

Pelletier, who was then and still is a Fall River City Councilman, and three other defendants were indicted in 2011 and charged with various gaming charges after launching Leo’s Place, two so-called internet cafes located in Fairhaven and Fall River.

When the state raided Internet cafes in Fairhaven and Fall River

Town Square Media Pictures

Peletier was charged with organizing or promoting gambling services, running an illegal lottery, permitting lotteries on a building, and selling and advertising lottery tickets.

The Internet cafes were operated by Pelletier’s New England Internet Cafes, LLC (NEIC).

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Defendants Ron Sevigny of Fall River, Linda Pelletier of Spring Hill, Florida, and Donald Greenidge of New Shoreham, New York, have been charged with related indictments.

When the state raided Internet cafes in Fairhaven and Fall River

Jim Phillips/Town Square Media

WickedLocal.com reported that Pelletier’s defense at the time was that the players were paying for internet time and playing the free lottery. The site reported that then-Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley charged patrons of these internet cafes with paying almost exclusively for the right to gamble.

Coakley issued a ban on internet cafes and phone card machines in April 2011.

After his arrest, Pelletier told L.L.C Boston Globe unfairly targeted by Coakley,

He said, “I don’t think it’s fair to single out the coffee shops I use just because I’m a councillor.” “There were at least 10 other places popping up.”

When the state raided Internet cafes in Fairhaven and Fall River

Barry Richard/Town Square Media

Ultimately, Leo Pelletier and Linda Pelletier (not related) pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced to two years in prison. All corporate assets over $100,000 were forfeited to the state.

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Leo’s Place is located in Fairhaven on Sconticut Square, far from the studios of WBSM and Fun 107.

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