Evan DuCharme/Special to The S.F. ExaminerNet Stop Cafe is one of several spots in the Excelsior district that provides computers that customers can use to play “sweepstakes games” for prizes.

Evan DuCharme/Special to The S.F. ExaminerNet Stop Cafe is one of several spots in the Excelsior district that provides computers that customers can use to play “sweepstakes games” for prizes.

Dennis Herrera sues to shut down Excelsior 'gambling' den

An Excelsior district business that hosts “illegal gambling” that's led to a hundred-fold increase in calls to police was sued by San Francisco in an effort to have the operation shut down, City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced Thursday.

The 50 computer terminals at Net Stop at 4458 Mission St., which advertises itself as an Internet café, allow patrons to play games that fall under the legal definition of gambling, according to Herrera's suit.

Gambling is banned in San Francisco.

Since Net Stop opened in fall 2012, police have responded to over 200 calls for service in the immediate vicinity. Before it opened, police had two calls over a similar time frame, Herrera said.

The suit names business owner Thomas Lacey as well as Michael Farrah, Lacey's main landlord, as defendants.

“This is criminal activity creating more criminal activity,” Herrera said in a statement. “Net Stop's owner should know better than to think he can get away with flouting state and local law.”

Farrah did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

Herrera will ask a Superior Court judge to declare Net Stop a nuisance, have it shut down for a year, and have the computer terminals that provide the slot machine games sold off to pay for the police costs.

To date, police have not taken any action against Net Stop, but top department brass have said that they are “building a case” against the business.

By repute, there are other businesses along the Mission Street corridor like Net Stop that also host computer-based gambling games. No other businesses were named in the suit.

Other cities have grappled with Internet gambling cafes with mixed success. A ban on the businesses imposed by the city of Hayward is being challenged in court by Figure 8 Technologies, the company that provides the software used at those cafes and at Net Stop.

Bay Area NewsDennis HerreraInternet gamblingInternet sweepstakes café

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

The J Church train could begin running again later this month on at least part of its surface route. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)
First Muni trains will return to service Dec. 19

Three additional bus routes coming back online in January

Smoking cannabis. (Shutterstock)
Supes ban tobacco smoking in apartments but exempt cannabis

San Francisco banned smoking and vaping of tobacco in apartments Tuesday night,… Continue reading

Dr. Grant Colfax and Mayor London Breed said new restrictions could come this week due to rising COVID-19 cases.<ins> (Examiner screenshot)</ins>
Breed: ‘More restrictive action’ needed to slow spread of COVID-19

San Francisco officials said Tuesday tougher restrictions will soon be imposed to… Continue reading

Many landlords fought the proposal requiring them to register properties, calling it an invasion of privacy. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
Housing inventory wins unanimous approval from supervisors

Legislation will require landlords to register properties, report vacancies and rents

Harlan Kelly, head of the SFPUC and husband to City Administrator Naomi Kelly (right), faces federal charges for allegedly trading inside information on a city contract in return for a paid family vacation. (Courtesy photo)
Harlan Kelly, head of SFPUC, charged with fraud in widening Nuru scandal

Kelly accused of engaging in corrupt partnership with permit expediter

Most Read