On Wednesday San Bruno police raided The Hub, a well-known Internet "sweepstakes" room, made five arrests and confiscated several computers that police believe were used for illegal gambling.
Local police were joined by members of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force and the California Department of Justice's Division of Gambling.
San Bruno police say they acted after receiving numerous complaints about illegal gambling at the business as well as drug use and drug sales in and around the business.
But Alameda County authorities have taken a different, non-criminal approach to Internet sweepstake stores in Castro Valley and San Lorenzo.
As Patch has reported, Alameda County officials have ordered four local Internet cafes that offered sweepstakes to "cease and desist operations" -- without making any judgement about the legal status of the games.
Instead, county code enforcement officer Tona Henninger said these orders were issued under the nuisance provisions of the zoning ordinance based on complaints of noise, late night gatherings and similar annoyances.
The Bureau of Gambling Control at the state Department of Justice has said that it "considers Internet cafés that offer these types of sweepstakes to be illegal gambling operations."
But as Patch reported recently, state authorities have left it up to their local counterparts how -- or whether -- to deal with such shops in their jurisdiction.
"Some (localities) choose to go after them administratively, some choose criminal prosecution, and some do nothing at all (generally in fear of being sued)," a state Department of Justice spokesman told Patch.
What do you think: is the Alameda County approach too much, too little or just right?