The Pitt County Sheriff's Office says it is preparing to enforce the ban on video sweepstakes businesses, this as business operators say they're surprised over the court decision that could put them out of business.
The State Supreme Court decision to ban video sweepstakes machines as a form of gambling has surprised sweepstakes owners like Stephen Kozikowski, owner of "Big Time Sweepstakes." He's concerned that he will soon lose his business.
Connie Langley, who owns "Pirates Loot," agrees and says she was devastated by the state's decision. "It's very personal for me. It's my livelihood, it's my children's livelihood. The thought was that potentially they would tax us, instead of just shut us down, because we provide so many jobs in North Carolina in a state that already has high unemployment and we didn't think it would come to a point where they would just shut us down completely."
Sheriff Neil Elks says he intends to enforce the law and to notify all sweepstakes owners of the decision.
Elks says the Pitt County Sheriff's Office and the Greenville Police will enforce the new law, however they are unsure how at this point.
Sweepstakes owners say they are trying to find ways to make the games compliant with the law in order to stay in business.
The Supreme Court will issue a mandate on January third. Anyone who is against the decision can appeal to the federal court.
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