Sweepstakes Operators in Ohio Show Customers New Options with New Game

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..Legal Challenge for Sweepstakes Regulation in Ohio..

The constitutionality of a 2010 law outlawing sweepstakes videogames should be put to the test this week as the North Carolina Supreme Court listens to arguments in two relevant cases. The law was nullified last March by the North Carolina appeals court.regulation

Texas-based sweepstakes game manufacturer Hest Technologies, software manufacturer International Internet Technologies and agent Sandhill Amusements are amongst the complainants in the case.

The size of North Carolina’s sweepstakes videogame business has actually been predicted at 1,000 places generating between $ 1 billion and $ 2 billion a year. In June, Gov. Bev Perdue– an opponent of electronic sweepstakes– proposed a tax on the devices. However the state’s General Assembly adjourned without acting on a tax step.

The Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization, headed by operator Chase Brooks of Front Edge Advertising (Chapel Hill), has long promoted a tax and requirement structure.

Ohio Sweepstakes Operators Throw Monkey Wrench in New Sweepstakes Law

The June 2011 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court vouching free-speech constitutional security for videogames may appear as a fundamental precedent in the final decision by North Carolina’s high court.

Arguing for the government, the state solicitor general’s workplace will speak up for the law by asserting sweepstakes videogames are prohibited gambling.court2

Sweepstakes operator Tony Whisnant of the Jester’s Wild, a sweepstakes cafe in Hudson, has actually predicted that no matter which side prevails in the North Carolina High court, the losing side will appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Baton Rouge, La — Internet sweepstakes cafes are popping up in Louisiana, raising questions among local government leaders and law enforcement agencies about their legality.

1-877-WIN-CAFE Sweepstakes Players South End

The businesses offer computer terminals on which customers, who buy Internet time, can play casino-like sweepstakes games online.

More than 4 of the cafes, which have become established in some other states, are open in Louisiana, the Baton Rouge News reported Monday. The state lacks regulations for such businesses, the newspaper said, and some local zoning ordinances don’t address the matter.

Operators say the cafes are legal businesses because the games they offer have predetermined winners and no chance is involved, unlike casinos, and are regulated by the state’s sweepstakes laws.

At Jerry Heart’s former Restaurant & Lounge in the Baton Rouge , images of slot machines, gold coins, dice, and cards line the windows. He renovated the downtown business this year as Pot of Gold Internet Sweepstakes Cafe. “Some people refer to it as gambling, but it’s not,” Mr. Heart said. “It falls under the sweepstakes law — the same laws that McDonald’s, Wendy’s, or Pepsi use for their sweepstakes. They’re selling the product and you can enter the sweepstakes. I’m selling Internet time.”

The games, which include blackjack and classic slot machines, offer cash prizes of up to $3,000.

Opponents say the operations are Internet cafes in name only.

The Louisiana State Police gaming section is investigating two complaints about Internet sweepstakes cafes made to the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. If police find violations, they would forward their investigation to the state attorney general’s office, but it apears after reviewing other states that have dealt with initial complaints that the games are legal.

“We’ve been getting a lot of requests from a lot of different police departments, wondering if they’re illegal,” said Jack Freeman, manager of the regulatory investigations support section of the gaming control board. “We are looking at these on a case-by-case basis. It’s a felony to operate a gambling establishment without a license from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, but technically these games do not appear to fit in the states definition of gambling”

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