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Operators of Infamous Gambling Den Sued By City - March 5, 2018 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

Operators of Infamous Gambling Den Sued By City

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An illegal gambling den in the Outer Mission has plagued neighbors and authorities for years. The so-called “Silver Shack” has operated off-and-on since 2014 out of 4182B Mission St. under different names, with arrests over the years ranging from methamphetamine sales to possession of stolen vehicles. The owners of the operation have tried to keep a low profile, blocking out the windows and manning the door with a security guard.  (Nevertheless, a Mission Local reporter managed to access the den last year.)

The hole-in-the-wall joint was busted in November of 2016 when the San Francisco Police Department seized nine gambling devices and arrested a number of people. Nevertheless, it reopened under a new name two months later. 

In October in 2017 — when it was under the name Jhec of All Trades — SFPD raided it again, taking three slot machine games, 15 computers used for gambling, and more than $6,400 in cash. This time, those arrested were charged with felonies. But, it was opened again. 

Now, in attempt to shut it down for good, the City Attorney’s office has officially stepped in and sued owner Eduardo C. Bato, and managers and operators Angelica Bato, Malcolm Vasquez, Kenneth Gurriere and Orlando Leonor. The suit alleges that the aforementioned “engaged in unlawful business practices by violating gambling laws, performed unpermitted construction, and violated building and planning codes.”

In the suit, it’s requested that the court order the closure of the business for one year and that the defendants pay $2,500 for each violation and $200 per day for every day that the listed violations existed. In addition, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has asked for civil penalties of $25,000 for each person named.

“This gambling den is like a weed,” City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in a statement Monday. “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.”  

This is not the first time Herrera has sued a gambling den; in 2015, he filed a lawsuit against repeat-offender Kingston Shack at 3437 Mission St., in February 2015. And in this case, he has the support of current District 11 Supervisor Ahsha Safai.

“We’re very excited that the City Attorney’s Office is bringing a lawsuit,” Safai told the Examiner. “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.”

This is probably the end of the Silver Shack’s legacy — or maybe not? Some weeds hide dormant for years. Only time will tell if this one will grow back.