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City Moves to Shut Down Park Slope Salon it Claims Doubled as Gambling Den

By  James Fanelli and Leslie Albrecht | January 29, 2013 6:36am 

PARK SLOPE — The neighborhood is known for strollers, but what about its high rollers?

A beauty salon on a kid-packed, tree-lined Park Slope block was also home to an illegal gambling den, police say.

Cops raided Sena African Hair Braiding last May after a confidential informant twice placed wagers on games of chance, according to court records.

On Jan. 17 the NYPD doubled down its crime-fighting efforts by filing a complaint in Brooklyn Supreme Court against the beauty salon at 594 Pacific St. The complaint asks that a judge shut down the business — which is a stone's throw from the Barclays Center on Flatbush Avenue — for a year for being a public nuisance.

"The defendants have owned, leased, used, maintained or conducted the subject premises for illegal gambling activity," the complaint says.

During a May 12 investigation, a confidential informant went into Sena to a make "a wager upon the outcome of a contest of chance" and received a betting slip, the complaint says. The informant reported it to a detective.

Three days later, a confidential informant again allegedly placed an illegal bet inside the business. On May 17, cops executed a search warrant and arrested an individual involved in the gambling operation, according to the complaint. Police also allegedly found gambling slips and betting devices.

The complaint does not describe what type of bets were placed, or the name of the individual arrested. The NYPD did not respond to a request for details about the bust.

The complaint also names Urban Sales Corp., the owner of the building at 594 Pacific St., as a defendant. The city wants each defendant to pay penalties of $1,000 for every day they knew of the gambling, the complaint says. 

Speaking outside the store on Friday, Sena's owner declined to comment on the court action or the alleged gambling operation. She referred questions to a lawyer, but did not provide a way to contact him.

The cash-only salon does brisk business on the weekends with clients sitting in chairs for hours getting their hair braided, according to a neighborhood resident who has visited the salon several times but has never seen gambling there.

A group of "nice" women who speak mostly French staff Sena, the resident said.

The salon, which is located between Flatbush and Fourth avenues, is sandwiched between brownstones and sits across from a community garden where neighbors tend produce plots and rose bushes.