OAKLEY -- If there are any fans of online gambling in Oakley, you won't find them at an Internet cafe here.
The city moved this week to place a permanent ban on places that have more than four computers with Web access available for public use in an effort to avoid the crime these so-called Internet cafes attract.
The establishments offer customers a chance to participate in online sweepstakes, purchasing time on the Internet in hopes of winning prizes.
Oakley has prohibited them since September, when the council adopted an interim urgency ordinance to buy time while it studied the issue.
Antioch and Pittsburg already have outlawed Internet cafes; Brentwood allows them but requires the prospective business to apply for a permit from the chief of police.
Oakley's concerns include unsupervised minors loitering in front of the businesses and late-night noise. More worrisome is the criminal activity that other local cities have reported in and around these businesses -- robberies, burglaries and illegal drug use as well as assaults, public drunkenness and vandalism.
Once it becomes official, Oakley's ordinance will allow exceptions for schools, libraries and other public facilities as well as nonprofits.
And as East County's other cities have discovered, businesses with four or fewer publicly accessible computers don't draw the kind of crime that larger operations do, Special Counsel Bill Galstan wrote in his staff report.
Reach Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her on Twitter.com/RowenaCoetsee.