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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

City Shuts Down "Last" Internet Gambling Casino in San Francisco

Posted By on Tue, Sep 2, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Update: Read the document sealing the casino's fate. See end. 

As of the first of the month, the electronic slot machines have ceased rolling at City Business Center on the 4800 block of Mission Street. 

The last of a phalanx of internet casinos that recently graced this stretch of the Mission, City Business Center was the lone holdout following a January settlement that took down neighboring gambling center Net Stop. That much-maligned internet casino has since been replaced by a dollar store, and its neighboring casinos withered following the City Attorney's suit and settlement with the gambling house's owners, the landlords of its building, and the maker of the internet technology enabling the gaming within.   

A sign at the cashout desk informed weekend patrons that, come Sept. 1, City Business Center would no longer serve as a virtually all-hours gambling parlor. A stock photo of a large house surrounded by a stately fence and resembling very few residences in San Francisco noted that all gambling would henceforth  have to be undertaken "from home." City Business Center will still keep its doors open for gamblers walking in to put money on their accounts and claiming their winnings. 

But the several dozen computers on Sunday utilized by mid-day gamblers will, by order of the city, be put to new use. The counterman at City Business Center said he's unsure just what the store will do; despite the establishment's innocuous name, it no longer even offers the pretense of faxing or printing up customers' documents.   

The combination of long hours, gambling, and unwanted ancillary activity led to hundreds of complaints being showered upon Net Stop and its fellow casinos and, per city officials, a spike in area crime

SF Weekly is told that this is, to the city's knowledge, the last overt internet casino in San Francisco. While the city's January settlement targeted the software City Business Center uses, the business held out this long claiming a technicality. 

City Business Center's closure was greeted happily by area residents. They immediately pointed to nearby shuttered storefronts, however, and noted that these locations host after-hours gambling dens of the non-internet variety. 

These are not affected by this settlement.

SF Weekly is awaiting the documents underlying this action from the City Attorney's office.

Update, 1:35 p.m.: The order curtailing City Business Center's run as a casino is short and sweet. Two pages. You can read it here, or below: 

City Business Center Settlement

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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