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The Continuing Debate Over Internet Sweepstakes Cafes


A law banning internet sweepstakes operations in North Carolina has been in place since 2006 and re-enforced by the State Supreme Court in December 2012. But today these businesses are not only still open, they're growing.

While some agencies are cracking down on internet sweepstakes, some owners are taking a gamble to remain open.

Connie Langley owns the Pirates Loot Sweepstakes in Pitt County and says, "I don't consider it gambling because it is a pre-reveal system."

She says new software allows players to see what they win before they play which is where "the pre-reveal" software comes into play.

Langley say since they've changed over the system she believes her establishment is a legal business.

Attorney General Roy Cooper disagrees, saying, "We don't believe the law upholds these machines. We believe this new software they have been touting still is illegal under the law."

Cooper says it's up to each individual county to crackdown on these businesses, and if they need assistance, the state will step in. Cooper says, "We have attorneys that will go down and argue these cases if asked by the D.A.'s, our attorneys are willing to help."

But Cooper says the reason some sweepstakes gaming parlors are still open is because there are still working through the rules.

Even in contacting local law enforcement about this story, many of them say they're even unclear about the law and how to enforce it.

We spoke with Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden who says his department, along with Pitt County agencies, want to understand the law completely to avoid making unnecessary arrests that the D.A. couldn't prosecute.


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