Police battle return of Internet cafes in western Colorado
GRAND JUNCTION — Authorities say new Internet gaming cafes have popping up in western Colorado, trying to skirt a new law that cracks down on illegal gambling.
Mesa County shut down five Internet cafes in April, but two have since reopened, reported the Grand Junction Sentinel (http://bit.ly/1KXLi3I ).
Police are investigating the new cafes, according to Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper. One is called Charlie Chedda’s and advertises “certified skill games,” while another is unnamed and doesn’t display a sign.
Camper said police were already looking into a complaint about an internet cafe when the Mesa County District Attorney’s Office asked them to investigate a second cafe last week.
Colorado now prohibits unskilled gambling games outside of casinos.
The cafe without a sign is located in a strip mall. Behind tinted windows, computers line the walls of a dimly lit room. Customers gamble on a game requiring them to click a spinning wheel.
The Sentinel reports that the attendant said the games are legal because they require skill, like stopping the wheels at the right time.
The Colorado Secretary of State’s office says Charlie Chedda’s is registered to Trey Franzoy of Pueblo West. He didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office declined to comment on the situation, saying it’s too early in the process.
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A Nov. 30 to Governor Polis and the Eagle County Commissioners from Beaver Creek Resorts Company – as well as the towns of Vail, Avon, Eagle and Minturn – requests a variance program which would allow businesses to remain open.