San Francisco Attorney Sues Notorious Illegal Gambling Den
The City of San Francisco is suing the Silver Shack, an illegal gambling den that has gone by many different names in a short period of time. Located in the Outer Mission, Silver Shack has continued to bring an unwanted presence to the neighborhood for years.
Since 2014, the gambling hall has operated off-and-on out of 4182B Mission Street. Over the past four years, the business has seen a lot of police attention. Arrests reports have ranged from methamphetamine sales to possession of stolen vehicles.
Regardless of the owners’ attempts at keeping a low profile by blocking out the windows and manning the front door with a security guard, authorities have continued to keep one eye open on the business.
November 2016 Police Raid
Back in November of 2016, the hole-in-the-wall joint was busted during a raid by the San Francisco Police Department. Authorities seized nine gambling devices and arrested a number of people. Though that didn’t seem to stop them. Just two months later the gambling den reopened under a new name.
The police raided the establishment again in October of 2017, when it was under the name of “Jhec of All Trades” – a supposed thrift store. Authorities on that occasion confiscated three slot machine games, fifteen computers used for gambling, and more than $6,400 in cash.
The managers were arrested and charged with felonies, but it still did not deter the business from continuing the operation. Shortly after the October 2017 raid, the business opened as Silver Shack.
Dennis Herrera’s Lawsuit
This time, City of San Francisco Attorney Dennis Herrera has sued the property’s owner, Eduardo C. Bato, as well as four managers: Angelica Bato, Malcolm Vasquez, Kenneth Gurriere, and Orlando Leonor.
The suit alleges that those involved, “Engaged in unlawful business practices by violating gambling laws, performed unlicensed construction, and violated building and planning codes.”
Dennis Herrera has requested a court order that would force a mandatory closure of the business for a full year. The motion also calls for the defendants pay $2,500 for each violation and $200 per day for each day that the Silver Shack was open. Along with the other fines, Herrera has requested the court assess civil penalties of $25,000 for each person that is being charged.
Herrera: “Like a Weed”
In a public statement to justify the harsh terms of the civil action, Dennis Herrera said on Monday, “This gambling den is like a weed. It has been cut down before.”
“Now we’re pulling out the roots to ensure it doesn’t come back. Our approach is straightforward: we’re focusing on the building they own and their wallets. Others looking to make a quick buck off this type of lawbreaking are on notice.”
Dennis Herrera’s Anti-Gambling Crackdown
Herrera has a history with suing gambling dens in the past. In February 2015, Herrera filed a lawsuit against a repeat-offender, Kingston Shack, which also is located on Mission Street (pictured above). Herrera claimed that those involved ran an illegal cyber-café, where visitors could play electronic slots on desktop computers for cash payouts.
At the time, Dennis Herrera said, “Illicit gambling dens like Kingston Shack are a terrible neighborhood nuisance. They inevitably harbor criminal activity, they diminish residents’ quality of life, and it’s no surprise that they quickly emerge as major targets of neighbors’ complaints.”
He added, “I hope my lawsuit today sends a clear message that we actively partner with our Police Department to shut these nuisances down, and that we will aggressively pursue maximum civil penalties to deter this kind of lawlessness.”
San Francisco’s District 11
Dennis Herrera has the support of Ahsha Safai, his current District 11 supervisor. When asked by local media about the crackdown on Silver Shack, Safai said, “We’re very excited that the City Attorney’s Office is bringing a lawsuit.”
The supervisor of District 11, which sounds like a designation from Hunger Games, added, “We’ve worked diligently with the police department and the city in focusing on these locations that are taking away good retail opportunities for small businesses and essentially terrorizing our neighborhoods.”
The Silver Shack might be closed down for good this time – or at least for one calendar year. More likely, Eduardo Bato or his successor might open the business under another name in the not-so-distant future.