Are they gambling machines or legal forms of entertainer? For the past year, Honolulu police have been confiscating them.
The latest raid took place Thursday. Police seized 16 machines from the Fun Zone on School Street.
Since September of last year, the distributor of these machines says there have been 20 of these gambling raids.
"Approximately 190 of these machines have been confiscated with a value in excess of $800,000. But the key is there has been not a single indictment related to any of these raids," said Tracy Yoshimura, distributor of PJY Enterprises.
The Honolulu Prosecutor's Office says the machines are gambling devices, making them illegal. But Yoshimura points out that the machines do not fall into the legal definition of gambling.
One of the points Yoshimura makes is that you do not have to put money in to play. You can basically press a couple of buttons and what it will give you is a code. It's called a free entry request code.
You have to write that code down and mail it out to a company on the mainland, which will then send you another code that can be used to play for free. Yoshimura says this is the same way legal games of chance are played such as McDonald's Monopoly game.
"In our case, rather than peeling open a piece to see what you've won, a revealing mechanism, you go into one of our terminals," Yoshimura said.
Yoshimura actually received approval from the Honolulu Liquor Commission. He says the machines were demonstrated at several hearings and the city's corporation counsel was there.
He feels he went through the proper channels and yet the prosecutor's office is still targeting his business.
"Either indict us or leave us alone. Ultimately, give us a day in court before destroying our businesses," Yoshimura said.
The prosecutor's office will not comment, saying it is an ongoing investigation.
Yoshimura will get his day in court later this month. He has filed a civil lawsuit to try and get his machines back from the prosecutor's office.
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