Deputies raid sweepstakes business

Law enforcement outside the Carolina Cyber Sweepstakes on Highway 401 South in Scotland County on July 1.

A multi-agency task force conducted a raid of Carolina Cyber Sweepstakes on Highway 401 South in Scotland County, according to Chief Deputy Mitch Johnson with the Scotland County Sheriff's Office.

Johnson said on Tuesday afternoon that he was unable to give details on how many video gaming machines were seized or who was charged, because the task force was still at the establishment.

He added that information will be released Wednesday.

Johnson said the owners of sweepstakes establishments were sent notices in recent weeks that video gaming machines were deemed illegal in the state of North Carolina.

North Carolina lawmakers first passed a ban on video poker and all other electronic gambling in 2006.

The industry then came out with new sweepstakes games they said complied with the law.

Lawmakers responded with new legislation in 2008 and 2010 which made it unlawful to possess game terminals that simulate slot machines or are used for the display of electronic sweepstakes.

The makers of sweepstakes software then sued North Carolina saying the ban violated their Constitutional free speech rights.

In December 2012 the Supreme Court decision upheld North Carolina's ban on the machines.

Johnson said law enforcement agencies have been raiding cafes, seizing machines and making arrests since the ruling.

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