Knock, Knock

27 May 1999
Wednesday, May 12 started out a typical day at the Sunnyvale, California offices of Handa Lopez, an online gaming software supplier which has been in operation since 1995. Their claim to fame has been offering casino games on a "contest model" with the ability to gain online gaming currency through mail-in offers. Their premier site that they started and spun off was Casino Royale ( But, before long, they were visited by 30 stenciled-jacketed law enforcement agents with guns drawn and battering rams in hand.

The contingent included agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Treasury Department, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and, of course, the Sunnyvale Police Department. The search warrant presented to the managers at the company included information on what they legally could look for and seize. These included most of the computer equipment and files which were all carted out of the 20 employee office. Bank accounts were seized as well.

When asked about the reasons behind the search and seizure, one primary contact at the company stated that this information was not included in the warrants. "Much of that information has been sealed," said the contact.

This has likely created much agony not only for the company but its 25-30 online gaming licensees who are dependent on the company for a full range of services under turn-key contracts. It also throws into question the accounts of "thousands" of players who were playing at these sites, many of which were located out of the Dominican Republic.

Interactive Gaming News will continue to monitor these developments and keep readers posted on the legal happenings in Sunnyvale.