North Carolina Steps Up Crackdown On Internet Sweepstakes Parlors
Police and prosecutors are working to enforce a state Supreme Court ruling that outlaws web-based sweepstakes games. The justices' ruling last December upheld a law passed two years earlier by the General Assembly. Since then, sheriff's departments have had the backing of prosecutors and Attorney General Roy Cooper in conducting stings to shut down the industry.
"There's been 14 or 15 so far that have taken place," Cooper says. "We've seen a number of them voluntarily close down and there are a number of undercover investigations going on across North Carolina right now."
Die-hard parlor owners continue to fight the law saying software changes protect them and their customers. But Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler says technology changes don't matter.
"Any type of game that pays out is illegal. And all of these games pay out," Butler said.
Butler's deputies have seized more than 200 machines since the state Supreme Court's decision.