Police today arrested 10 people on charges of illegal gambling during a raid on the Northside. Officers cited another seven people on charges of playing illegal games in a house in the 3700 block of North Keystone Avenue, said Lt. Jeff Duhamell, a spokesman for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The 11 a.m. raid was not the first at the red two-story house known as The Shack. Today, police seized video equipment, a pull-tab machine, tickets and more than $2,500 from the alleged "pea-shake house," Duhamell said.
Pea-shake houses typically offer illegal neighborhood games that are similar to the Hoosier Lottery's Pick Three or Pick Four games.
Duhamell said today's raid at The Shack was the third since March.
In March and April this year at various locations in the city, police arrested at least 20 people and cited about 30 others for gambling or visiting a common nuisance.
On March 28, three men were arrested and three patrons were cited after SWAT team officers forced their way into The Shack.
Do you see something wrong with this picture? Why are police having to return time and time again to raid these same illegal gambling establishments? Is the City powerless to permanently shut down these establishments?
Compare what's happening with the pea shake houses to the City's stance on Melyssa Donaghy's dominatrix business. On the forced settlement of the City's lawsuit against her business, corporation counsel Kobi Wright "said the suit achieved the city's aim of shutting down Donaghy's business in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood" according to the Star's Jon Murray. "She lost that argument," Wright said, "because now she's enjoined from doing this." If you're such a tough guy when it comes to enforcing our zoning laws, Mr. Wright, why can't you figure out a way to permanently shut down The Shack and all these other illegal gambling establishments known as pea shake houses? "Police say the pea-shake operations, poker clubs and other illegal gambling operations are magnets for drug dealers, thieves and criminal activity," Ryckaert writes. Think about that, Mr. Wright.