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Sheriff says internal issues have slowed enforcement of sweepstakes ban

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office says it's cracking down on sweepstakes parlors, but a bust today marked just the fourth time deputies have shut down one of the illegal gambling halls this year.

Deputies confiscated 50 computers from Capital One Reward Zone on Market Street today. The Sheriff's Office hopes this raid sends a message to other sweepstakes operators.

"You can't enforce everything every day, but you can enforce something every day, and today was their day," Sheriff's Office spokesman Cpl. Jason Augst said.

Deputies closed the doors on Capital One Reward Zone Tuesday afternoon. This comes months after the state made it illegal for these kinds of operations.

"We are going to be aggressively enforcing this violation of the law," Sheriff Ed McMahon said.

Since January, deputies have raided four parlors after multiple warnings to pack-up.

"They've chosen to disregard the warnings, and now we have to take our valuable time and resources and effort to go back in and shut them down," McMahon said. "It is frustrating."

But deputies have only shut down a handful of the businesses. Sheriff McMahon says internal matters in his office and other criminal cases have taken precedent over this problem, but he is adamant about putting a stop to all owners breaking the law.

"It's just a matter of getting the resources, getting the manpower together to come and shut you down," McMahon said.

This particular sweepstakes opened two months ago. The parlor's attorney said the program used on these computers were carefully designed and did not violate the law.

"I think that had a full examination been done of the software and how it operates, the officers would have been able to determine that," attorney Tommy Hicks said.

Investigators say both of the owners were from out of state and have not yet been cited. Deputies however did cite the manager on duty and an employee.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The sweepstakes parlor Capital One Reward Zone has nothing to do with the credit card company Capital One. A spokeswoman for the credit card company tells WWAY the company's lawyers are looking in to the potential trademark infringement.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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No they shouldnt shut the

No they shouldnt shut the internet parlors down, that is where people go relax and socialize with others, they need to focus on other things

Don't take the word of Tommy Hicks the "Lawyer"

This is the same Tommy Hicks that represented Gracio, the stalker, the abuser of young women, from Interpol Private Police and is still in prison. This is the same Tommy Hicks that was going to sue Leland for all of the scumbags that were fired from the Police force. They all trusted him to tell them the truth. Hey guys I guess that money you paid him did a lot of good huh? The PBA or the FOP wouldn't help huh? I guess you took his advice and took other jobs huh? Installing tv boxes in Leland and in Lumberton and selling used cars in Davidson. Well I guess you finally accepted your fate. He wouldn't know the truth if it came up from behind him and bit him in the rear end. What a big mistake that these people have hired him when he has such a poor win vs loss record. So this is going to be a slam dunk for Law Enforcement because he is about the money for himself and he has been stringing them along to fill his pockets. Go figure!

Abuse of power

If you are allowed to run a lottery you should be allowed to run a sweepstakes. This is abuse of power and should not be allowed. I would vote these people out of office that are enforcing a non existent law!

Real info

Sweepstakes parlors are not banned. It's amazing how poor reporting can cast a cloud of uncertainty on a subject.

What is banned ? It is illegal to enter a sweepstakes by use of an entertainment display.

What else is banned ? It is illegal to be shown winning entries by use of a entertainment display.

What is a entertainment display ?

"Entertaining display" means visual information, capable of being seen by a
sweepstakes entrant, that takes the form of actual game play, or simulated game play, such as, by way of illustration and not exclusion:
a. A video poker game or any other kind of video playing card game.
b. A video bingo game.
c. A video craps game.
d. A video keno game.
e. A video lotto game.
f. Eight liner.
g. Pot-of-gold.
h. A video game based on or involving the random or chance matching
of different pictures, words, numbers, or symbols not dependent on the skill or dexterity of the player.

this means = any computer

this means = any computer handheld mobile device capable of connecting to internet. Making ALL Computers, Laptops, Tablets I-Pads Androids, and ALL Cell phones ILLEGAL

IF what you write is true,

IF what you write is true, THEN ALL forms, to include SCRATCH OFF tickets (a government enterprise) MUST be removed as well...otherwise, precedent FOR the games has been estabilished.

HB80

It has nothing to do with what I write and has everything to do with what the law reads.

http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/House/PDF/H80v6.pdf

Read it yourself

I read it and you are

I read it and you are correct. It is clearly signed by Democraps.

shoot outs

Regretfully I wish the LEO's would focus on all this violence we are having this year instead of shutting down the gambling parlors. It's like shutting down gambling parlors is low hanging fruit if you know what I mean. In my previous life in another NC town, most times officers were seen only at good eating establishments.

Next,

Great job!

I didn't realize misdemeanors were so news worthy!

Very sad when law

Very sad when law enforcement resources have to be spent on closing businesses, and preventing hard working, law abiding citizens from spending their money their way because Pat McCrory says so. Very sad indeed.

It's probably Bush's fault too.....

The law has absolutely nothing to do with Pat McCrory! Your lib buds like Sleazely and Perdue are responsible and 140 years of democrat rule.

Illegal betting parlors

What's really sad is that these "businesses", if you want to call them that, continue to flout the law in full knowledge that they are in violation in order to prey on people who more than likely can't afford to lose even a little bit of money.

when you manage to get your

when you manage to get your head out of the sand McCrory didn't start this law, this is more of the 100 plus years of demorat control, this state doesn't want gamblimg, but it starts an education lottery and promotes it, long before McCrory even started to run for govenor, now back to the original issue, let's see, Causey is retiring, but to insure that his pick get's sheriff he stays long enough to get re-elected and then hands over the reigns, insuring the good old boy stay's in place, so it's not unreasonable to see how there are going to be issues within the ranks.

Get it right

Oh no, Wrong Governor! Thank former Governor Bev Perdue (remember "perdu" in French means "lost") along with her Democratic controled legislature put an end to this type of business. Not Governor McCrory. Get it right !

Remember

Remember that McCrory in English means carpetbagger.

Also very sad that video

Also very sad that video gambling has caused several people to lose their life's savings. Not to mention all the robberies, loan sharking, and violent crime, that goes with it. But the video gambling owners don't care, they are getting thousands a night. They cry all the way to the bank.

A few "hard working", hustlers, are going to have to take their business elsewhere and find another area to exploit. Isn't it a "shame" the Sheriff's Department, is doing its sworn duty, and enforcing the law ? By the way "Miguel", just like selling dope, and prostuition, the gambling "business" is illegal.

Great job Sheriff McMahon. Continue to serve and protect our vulnerable citizens from these hustlers. Give these video gaming parasites Hell. We don't need them in NH County, or anywhere else in NC.

IF gambling IS illegal, why

IF gambling IS illegal, why does the government engage in it, aka, the lottery? Is that not a double standard?

I HAVE READ MANY ARTICLES ON

I HAVE READ MANY ARTICLES ON THIS AND I AM STILL LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER TO THE QUESTION " WHY IS THE LOTTERY NOT ILLEGAL"--THE FUNNY PART IS THAT WHY IS IT THE NC LOTTERY WHEN AFTER ALL THESE YEARS YOU CAN PROBALY COUNT ON BOTH HANDS THE BIG WINNERS FROM HERE. DO PEOPLE REALIZE HOW MUCH MONEY PEOPLE SPEND ON THIS. WONDERING WHY PEOPLE NEED TO CONTROL HOW CITIZENS SPEND THEIR MONEY WHEN THE STATE CANNOT EVEN CONTROL THEIR OWN FUNDS AND SO MUCH FRAUD AND MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS (STEALING)- LOL- IS GOING ON...IF PEOPLE WANT TO SPEND THEIR MONEY ON THEM LET THEM- THOUGHT THIS WAS THE LAND OF THE FREE. PEOPLE ARE ONLY FREE TO DO WHAT OTHER PEOPLE REGULATE...USA NEEDS TO REWRITE A LOT OF STUFF-- STARTING WITH THE CONSTITUTION-- JUST LIKE ALL THESE SO CALLED PREACHERS THAT CHANGE WORDING AROUND TO SUIT THE NEED OF WHAT THEY DO- LAW MAKERS ARE THEIR FIRST COUSINS.....

Not sure

The lottery is not illegal because it was passed into law. However it is illegal (or should be) to post with caps lock on. Press it once and never press it again because you have proven you can't handle the responsibility to use it correctly.

Yeah

So I suppose upholding the law is good depending upon which laws YOU think are sad or not?
Change the law if need be but don't criticize the governor for the law that was proposed written and passed by the Legislature. And don't criticize Law Enforcement either - it's their job to enforce law regardless of how sad they are.

Vog

The law to ban video

The law to ban video sweepstakes machine was enacted in 2008. You're blaming the wrong party.