Ohio — On Day 1 under stifling new state regulations, two Internet cafes positioned across from each other on Chardon Road took markedly different tacks.
The Sweepstakes Club, which was open just 24 hours earlier, according to a customer, was locked late Friday morning. A sign on the door said the cafe was “closed for an upgrade” and will resume operation Monday. Continue reading
That hissing sound you hear is the wind momentarily getting knocked out of the Internet sweepstakes cafe industry.
Last Friday evening, a Florida jury found Kelly Mathis, the lawyer for a ring of Internet sweepstake cafes, aka pop-up casinos, guilty on 103 of 104 counts including racketeering and possession of an illegal slot machine or device. Continue reading
A referendum campaign to overturn an Ohio Internet-sweepstakes-cafe law appears to have fizzled, but backers may not know for sure until today.
The Committee to Protect Ohio Jobs stopped collecting signatures on an updated referendum petition yesterday and began taking inventory of what already had been gathered, spokesman Mark Weaver said. Continue reading
COLUMBUS — The effort to let voters have the final say on a new law cracking down on hundreds of Internet “sweepstakes” cafes in Ohio fizzled Thursday.
The law designed to make it tough for the businesses to survive takes effect immediately, and state Attorney General Mike DeWine warned, “We will be watching.”
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —Sweepstakes parlors, already targeted by the N.C. Legislature, are now in the sights of Charlotte Mecklenburg police and Mecklenburg County’s district attorney.
Police have been delivering a letter, signed by D.A. Andrew Murray, ordering sweepstakes businesses to shut down.Along Old Pineville Road in south Charlotte, two parlors had signs on their doors saying they were closed Tuesday.An employee at one location said police had delivered a cease-and-desist letter ordering the parlor to close by Tuesday or face possible criminal charges.
The letter pointed to a state law that says video gaming machines are illegal.
The battle between the state and sweepstakes operators has been raging for years.
After a previous law outlawing video poker, operators changed the software on their machines to make them legal.
A subsequent law sought to prevent owners from getting around the law. After owners took the issue to court the NC N.C. State Supreme Court sided with state lawmakers.
Police say they’re in the process of ordering all of the county’s approximately 50 sweepstakes parlors to close.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Backers of a referendum to stop a law that would effectively eliminate Internet sweepstakes cafes will need to collect more signatures on petitions if they are to get their issue before voters.
Secretary of State Jon Husted today certified that petitioners fell more than 71,000 signatures short of the total number of valid signatures required by law. Additionally, they did not meet a requirement that they collect a certain portion of those in at least 44 different counties.