November 25, 2004
Mass. Gambling Club for Elderly Shut Down
BROCKTON, Mass. - Police have shut down what they said was an illegal gambling club, an establishment frequented mostly by senior citizens looking for a place to try their luck on video poker and card games.
The club, located in a Main Street professional building just steps away from a day-care center, was in operation for at least three years, authorities said.
The alleged ringleader, Charles J. Matta, 65, was charged with several gambling-related counts. He said the club's clientele included mainly bored old-timers.
"We're a bunch of old people looking for something to do," he said from his subsidized high-rise apartment. "You got people sitting around all day waiting to die."
Matta was arrested Monday when he arrived at the club, which went by the name New England Salesmen's Association.
A second man, Roy P. Marian, 57, was charged with gaming and unlawful selling or keeping alcohol for sale. Two women who were hostesses also will be charged, police said.
Police used an undercover officer to gather evidence. Seized were seven video poker machines, playing cards and poker chips, and records listing names and amounts owed or paid out, Lt. William Conlon said.