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Fee for sweepstakes machines needs a closer look

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington City Council decided to put off its decision on licensing fees for internet sweepstakes cafes.

Council members discussed levying the fee when businesses go to renew their licenses next month. Just how much, was the subject of debate. Neighboring communities, like Carolina Beach and Leland impose a three thousand dollar per machine fee. Some council members thought that was too high. At least one business owner agrees.

"That's undue hardship and they would definitely see a lawsuit by every place in town," Owner of 777 Sweepstakes, Leo Daniels said. "I mean it's just ridiculous because right now the fee is at thirty dollars per machine. They want to raise it from thirty dollars, to three thousand dollars."

By a four to two vote, with council members Ronald Sparks and Kevin O'Grady voting against, council agreed look at a tiered fee structure at its next meeting.

The city is in the middle of a 90-day moratorium on new sweepstakes cafes.

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