City May Take Legal Action Against SJ Vietnamese Cafes Raided for Illegal Gaming

San Jose is examining Vietnamese cafes raided by police and the FBI in connection to illegal gaming and looking to see if it can start taking any legal action, according to the city attorney.

Law enforcement units late Tuesday raided 11 cafes in San Jose and seized about 100 gambling video machines. The machines confiscated Tuesday can generate about $100,000 per week, police said.

Police on Wednesday said they were working to track down the owners and operators of the Vietnamese cafes. On Thursday, the department said it plans to keep a close eye on the cafes.

"We're going to be increasing patrols when we can," San Jose Police Sgt. Heather Randol said. "When officers are availble we're asking them to do patrol checks -- just be visible in those areas."

The raids dubbed "Operation Omni" are part of an illegal gaming investigation and capped off a year and a half of investigation, authorities said.

A former gaming expert said the "underground" illegal gaming is a result of the city refusing to expand legalized gaming.

Bay 101 Casino applauded the raids and said illegal gaming is "costing the city significant losses in tax revenue that would be coming from San Jose's two cardrooms if these people played at Bay 101 or the Matrix."

Meanwhile, the city attorney has taken action against Chot Nho Cafe on McLaughlin Avenue. Doyle secured an injunction against the business before the raids, ordering the owner to post signs that prohibit smoking and nudity at the cafe -- two things many people said had been going on for quite a while.

Chot Nho was also fined $90,000.

City officials said the enforcement action is not over and will continue taking a close look at the cafes.

"It's not over yet," Randol said.

Tuesday's raids follows similar operations held last month that netted more illegal gaming machines.

On Feb. 25, a downtown San Jose business was raided in connection with illegal gaming.

Officers in that raid confiscated five slot machines and a surveillance monitor from the Family Wash and Dry business, about two block from San Jose City Hall.

On Feb. 24, police confiscated 13 illegal gaming machines, a stolen car and found evidence of identity theft in raids on a home and convenience store.

Contact Us