Last May I wrote about winning $7.75 in less than 15 minutes at a now-closed Internet Sweepstakes parlor on East Drive in Arbutus.
“It’s definitely gambling,” said Kathryn Rowe, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland. “It’s illegal."
When I asked county police and the State's Attorney Scott Shellenberger about enforcement back in May, I got their best poker faces.
"I haven't received any citizen complaints," Shellenberger said at the time. "Until somebody brings us a complaint, we won't take any action."
"We're waiting for legal opinions from the state's attorney," police spokeswoman Cpl. Cathleen Batton said in May.
During a Wednesday morning Patch meeting, I received a call from John Cox, Deputy State's Attorney for the county. He mentioned the story from May.
"We couldn't tell you that it was an active investigation," he said. "Search warrants are being executed on ten gambling parlors in Baltimore County as we speak."
A within a half hour. That was pretty cool. Emily Kimball added more information in a later update to the story.
Based on comments left at Patch, many readers seemed to question the importance and timing of enforcement against the gambling parlors.
"Baltimore Counties finest wasting their resources as usual," said AJ. "Start with the drug trade, not an internet cafe. But yeah, yeah....take em down coppers."
"I suppose if they paid their 67 percent extortion to the state they'd have been left alone," said M. Sullivan. "I'm surprised it took the masterminds this long to figure out what was going on in these places."
"I vote for prohibition too. Ban large sodas. Lock-up speeders. Lock-up jaywalkers," said FIFA. "The sky is falling."
Others praised the enforcement effort.
Thank you so much," said David Waite. "Made a lot of folks in Rosedale extremely happy. It's a good day!"
"Thanks goodness they got this place, Wheel of Fortune Phone Card Center," said Jeffrey M. Doran, Jr. "I drive past there every night on my way home and just don't understand why its still there. I hope they get rid of that trash."