Appeals Court Ruling Opens Door For New Games in California

Promotional Sweepstakes Company Looking For Owner Operators For New Market Op
BAKERSFIELD, CA – A few days after the Fifth Appellate District Court based in Fresno ruled internet cafes as illegal, law enforcement will meet up with the District Attorney’s office on Monday while internet sweepstakes owners will huddle later this week to discuss their next move on the legal battle over sweepstakes.
“We intend to go forward with enforcement very quickly. This opinion gives us a basis on which to move forward with the next phase of enforcement,” Kern County Deputy District Attorney Greg Pulskamp now-hiring-350x350-gifexpressed when the ruling in favour of them was released last Friday.
The D.A. stated that the ruling mean that the internet cafes across Bakersfield operating sweepstakes can be shut down.
“We’re coordinating our efforts with the City Attorney’s office and the Kern County District Attorney’s office. We’re kind of seeking some guidance,” Bakersfield Police Sgt. Joe Grubbs announced.
caBakersfield police tagged internet cafes as nuisance which attract other crimes like loitering, vandalism and drug dealing especially in parking lots.  They reported that there had been several complaints against internet cafes.
“We can say that we have been getting increased calls,” Sgt. Grubbs shared.
Back in 2013, crime related calls increased in the area from a total of 146 calls for service, 92 led to arrest. Most of the calls were from internet cafes like I-Sweeps Internet and Cyber Hot Spot with 37 arrests from 98 calls for service.
“I understand there’s a lot of people in the community that just want them closed immediately, go chain up the doors. However, there are some legal processes that are going to need to be met, and reviewed and gone through before we can do that,” the officer added.
Meanwhile, Phillip Walker of the Internet Café Association declared that they also planning to catch up with the group for their next step.
“We’ll go back to the table and figure out what the next step is. We need to let the community know what’s going on,” he said. “And, not get stressed about it,” Walker explained.babybucks
According to Attorney John Weston who represents the Oz Cafe from F Street, a final ruling is premature because the case was long and complicated.
“It’s pretty likely we’ll go to the (state) Supreme Court,” Weston stated.



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Bill 1439 Would Make Internet Cafes Illegal in California


New Law Looks to Shut Cyber Cafes Down

BAKERSFIELD – A California lawmaker looking to shut down internet cafes in Bakersfield by defining “sweepstakes” as an illegal activity.

Assembly member Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) announced Wednesday that he has introduced Assembly Bill 1439 to fight the rising number of illegal sweepstakes gambling cafes.

The bill would close a loophole in the law that will clearly define the activity of playing games at internet cafes. The bill will also make these activities an unfair business practice that will permit cities, counties, and the DOJ to bring civil lawsuits against the individuals at the center of these activities.

“Illegal sweepstakes gambling cafes are a threat to both public safety and local business,” said Salas. “This legislation will stop these casino-style gambling cafes and give local governments and the Department of Justice the tools needed to shut them down permanently.”

Kern County business owners have voiced concern and support about the consequences of internet cafes, including many reports of increased crime such as prostitution, drug trafficking, and violence.



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Some Ohio Internet Cafes Will Re-Open With New Business Model Within Weeks


“The new law has restricted our sweepstakes rooms but we do have options to keep our doors open and pay our bills” — Happy Patel, Parlor Owner.

Columbus, Ohio –  A software and Internet service company that provides services  to dozens of parlors in the state canceled its contracts with those sites just before the new law went into effect Friday.

 Another provider agreed to stop doing business in Ohio in a plea deal settling a gambling case. Gov. John Kasich in June signed the new

Governor Signed HB-7 Into Law

restrictions  at Internet cafés, which law enforcement officials believe have been used for illegal gambling operations.

There are over 600 Internet cafés that operate in Ohio, representing growing competition to legalized casinos and charity games.

Opponents of the ban failed this week in their effort to pursue a ballot repeal due to a lack of signatures.

VS2 Worldwide Communication, a provider to 45 Internet cafés, agreed to pull out of the state in a plea deal with

VS2 Agreed To Stop Operations In Ohio ALong With Sealed Plea Deal

the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office, the newspaper said. The companies owners were scheduled to begin trial next week in Cleveland on numerous charges.

Meanwhile, a pair of Internet Cafés in Columbus were shuttered with signs on their front door that read “Software Upgrade Re-Opening Soon”

Attorney General Mike DeWine, the lead critic of the sweepstakes cafes, has promised to enforce the new regulations limiting payouts right upgrade sign

DeWine is notifying county sheriffs and Internet-café owners about the new requirements, which includes a $10 limit on the value of prizes and bans on cash prizes.

Opponents of the crackdown say the law went too far by limiting activity at the parlors, many of which they describe as mom-and-pop operations that provide jobs in local communities.

Legal Challenge To HB-7 Is Expected Within Weeks

The law is predicted to be challenged in court and a long and legal battle is expected.



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Authorities In Florida Address Concerns About Internet Cafes


They are called internet cafes, gaming facilities and sweepstake cafes, yet now law enforcement has labled them more

Lucky Sampson’s Internet Cafe In Modena

plainly and specified. Manatee County Sheriff Brad Steube pointed out, “We have a significant complication below,” while managing the board at a shop of such companies Tuesday. His concerns are the 24/7 gambling and the current robberies that have actually occurred within, as well as out in the car parking lot. Steube wishes the BOCC to embrace a statute that can be implemented by the county’s code enforcement. Commissioners claim ‘not so fast.’.

Sgt. Jason Powell heads the Internet Unit for the Manatee Sheriff’s Office (MSO). Powell advised the commission of the 2006 operation named “No Dice,” where 16 such places were robbed, and 33 machines confiscated, together with $ 35,647 and 500 Visa gift cards. 60 charges were claimed operating a gambling house. The fees were later on decreased to offenses and the battle to plainly determine simply what was going on in these “cafes” was on.

Powell stated that Sarasota likewise tried to cut just what both regions thought to be unlawful, yet discovered it tough to convict those operating them as a result of loopholes and just how the businesses were determined, adding, “Now, it is a various ball of wax.” The Florida State Legislature was expected to determine and resolve Internet Cafe’s future this previous session, but decided to wait. Now it appears that will not take place until the 2014 session at the earliest. Currently, there are 26 cafes in the region.

Sheriff Steube stated, “We have gotten 186 requests for a solution, for break-ins on site and break-ins in the vehicles. There is not a street without one.” Steube stated an automatic tool was utilized to rob all the individuals inside of one cafes.

“We arrested one in the group. We have not had any more, knock on wood,” claimed Steube. “They are breaching Florida Gaming law; Statute 849.094, however the state is not thinking about prosecution.”.

Commissioner Carol Whitmore reacted, “Then we do not prefer to be spinning our wheels here.” She added outside of these few altercations, “I have not become aware of any kind of complaints. Individuals that visit these cafes, are 21 years aged, and they are only gambling. It’s their cash.”.

Internet cafes look like bingo halls or the intent of Florida Statute 849.094– which are things like a McDonald’s give-away that need a purchase. These cafes only house a computer that is connected to the internet. Like a lottery ticket, the number that is provided to the purchaser, can easily be checked right away to see if it is a “winner.” When the card is acquired, the winner status has actually already been identified and they are then able to use their credit ratings on the gaming. Lawyers representing these cafes insist it is not gambling, however some regions disagree.

MSO representative Michelle Hall spoke of a regulation adopted by Seminole County that has discovered some success in the state’s 11th Judicial Circuit Court, which located the cafes’ methods to be “gaming.” But the choice was tested by Allied Veterans of the World Inc., a non-profit that operates at the very least 39 of the internet cafes in the state of Florida. There way too, enforcement is on hold.

Manatee Commissioners felt it would be prudent to wait until the law-makers makes a stand on the issue. Manatee’s lawful team had little to supply and like the commissioners, none of them had ever been in one of the cafes. The shop left off where it began, without a defined explanation to shut them down.



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Palm Beach Opens Doors For Sweepstakes Cafes


Palm Beach County prepares to drop its ban on new Internet cafes, also known as sweepstakes cafes, which permit casino-wp14style gaming without dealing with state gambling laws.

The county in March established a yearlong restriction on enabling even more of the fast-spreading, arcade-style facilities that have actually been emerging in shopping centers across South Florida.

The county’s short-term abeyance was planned to permit time to look at whether more neighborhood rules were required pertaining to where– and if– the well-liked gaming internet sites ought to be allowed.

However on Wednesday, the County Commission selected permitting the abeyance expire. As opposed to seeking an expansion this springtime, the Commission backed away from plans to develop additional local laws.

“I don’t think it’s a great use of team time to begin regulating these Internet Cafes,” Commission Chairman Steven Abrams stated.



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Lexington Municipality Approves Sweepstakes Fees


Sweepstakes owners will certainly need to pay up if they wish to run in Lexington.

Lexington City Council authorized new laws and fees for electronic gaming, or sweepstakes, companies throughout the city.

Council unanimously approved a resolution that will impose yearly charges of $ 1,000 per sweepstakes business, plus $ 500 every computer terminal inside.

Council additionally voted 5-3 on a different amendment to a city ruling that will certainly limit the number of sweepstakes companies allowed in the city to 6 establishments at any given time. The ordinance additionally asks for companies to have a minimum of 30 electronic sweepstakes computer terminals and a minimum building size of 2,000 square feet. New businesses will just be allowed in the business area, as reported by the statute.

City staff say the amended statute puts the city code more in line with what the state permits. The changed regulation additionally transforms the city’s strategy toward managing and collaborating with the businesses, pointed out Tammy Absher, the city’s director for business and society development.

“If we flip our approach and look at the total number of businesses across the city but don’t put limits on them, we could end up with nicer establishments with more investment opportunity,” Absher pointed out.

Currently, there are about five sweepstakes-related companies functioning legally in Lexington. Existing companies will certainly be grandfathered under the new ordinance and will be offered 1st priority at one of the six available company licenses, Absher said.

Councilmen Lewie Phillips, Frank Callicutt and Linwood Bunce dissented in the vote on the modified statute. While all three councilmen agreed with many of the modifications, they stated they thought the limit of six companies must be raised.

“I would definitely be in favor of bumping that number to 6, to 8, to maybe 10,” Phillips stated.

Bunce even motioned to send the modified ruling back to the planning board, to take into consideration raising the limit of 6 businesses at one time to eight. That motion failed.

Though the council voted in favor of the six-business limitation on Monday, the issue can be examined at a later date, stated Lexington Mayor Newell Clark.

Sweepstakes came to be a hot topic in North Carolina at the turn of the last decade. After the state prohibited video poker in 2007, entrepreneurs promptly knew they might dodge the state’s definition of gambling, and consequently keep their parlors open by offering Internet time, not wagers. Lots of metros, featuring Lexington, adopted initial regulations that aspired at keeping companies out.

North Carolina permitted a law in 2010 that attempted to ban sweepstakes. Nonetheless, previously this year, the N.C. Court of Appeals claimed that law violated the First Amendment. The N.C. Attorney General’s office has actually appealed the court’s decision; however, it seems sweepstakes are poised for a revival.

Absher claimed the city gets 3 to 4 requests from prospective sweepstakes managers each week. The city has actually also begun a waiting list for new companies.

Tom Carpenter, of Greensboro, resolved the council during the course of a public hearing on Monday evening, stating he represented a business that has around 25 sweepstakes businesses throughout the region. Carpenter said his business has actually considered launching numerous sweepstakes businesses in Lexington, featuring a proposed 4,900 square-foot company off of U.S. Highway 64.

Carpenter claimed he does not agree with the six-business restriction.

“Right now, there’s no reason to force these people to do any better. Until competition comes in, they have no reason to do any better than they are doing now,” Carpenter stated, adding that indications and low-cost seats are simply a couple of the issues at the existing sweepstakes companies. “It will never get any better until someone comes along and gets them to move a little bit.”

Danny Dagenhart, which functions Pot of Gold Sweepstakes No. 1 and No. 2 in Lexington, stated he believes the six-business limitation will definitely aid his company.

“What we’ve been told is that by limiting the number, it gives us the opportunity to limit the competition, so we can have a nicer place,” Dagenhart pointed out. “That’s part of our thinking. By limiting all these scattered places at gas stations and convenience stores, then we can generate more business and have a nicer place to play.”

It’s estimated there are in between 700 and 800 sweepstakes businesses operating in North Carolina, with a yearly earnings rising to $ 1 billion, according to the Internet-Based Sweepstakes Organization, which exemplifies numerous sweepstakes operations throughout the state.

There are more than a dozen sweepstakes companies throughout Davidson County. There are around six businesses running in Thomasville, which calls for sweepstakes companies to purchase a privilege license for $ 50 per year and pay $ 5 each gaming machine, up to $ 50. Davidson County does not have any certain regulations for sweepstakes companies, only zoning needs similar to most government bodies.

The law regulating sweepstakes says that if you offer a service or product, then you may promote it with a sweepstakes. That product, in the case of local sweepstakes affairs, is Internet time. When the consumer buys Internet time on a computer terminal at a business, they are automatically entered into a sweepstakes reward that is predisposed. Because they are not gambling any cash in the games they play, sweepstakes are not considered gambling by the state.



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Charitable Sweepstakes Increasing Charity Bottom Line


Internet sweepstakes cafes are “under siege from state and local authorities” throughout the country with prohibitions, cases or criminal grievances active or pending in approximately 20 states, as reported in a current entry in the Wall Street Journal.

The paper pointed out analysts have determined that the sweepstakes videogame business earns in total prior to expenditures may reach up to $ 13 billion solely in North Carolina.




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Sweepstakes Legality Usually All About The Math Of The Game


Ellis Park’s manager stated Tuesday that he expects to launch a gambling parlor offering the slots-like on the spot Racing games just before the summer time satisfy ends on Labor Day, despite a court ruling this month that will definitely postpone a decision on whether the game is legal.

Ron Geary stated he is in talks with possible backers– one of whom would certainly become a minority partner in his Western Kentucky keep track of, adding $ 3 million to build the parlor, which would certainly have 177 of the machines.

Geary said he intends to have that promotion wrapped up in a couple of weeks and expects that the gambling hall can open a month after that.

“After doing some analysis (after the court judgment), speaking to the prospective partners, most of us have determined to move forward for the good of the thoroughbred horse sector while building handbag cash for at least our track,” Geary pointed out at an announcement previewing the keep track of’s summertime fulfill, which begins July 4.

In Immediate Racing, victors are identified based on wagers on old horse races– the images of which aren’t disclosed until after antes are made. Players view electronic spinning reels as well as a three-second video presentation bit of the race in the edge of the playing display.

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to start with authorised the game in 2010, as well as Kentucky Downs in Franklin began making use of the machines last September. Last October, the commission offered Ellis Park agreement to install 252 of the slots-like Fast Racing machines and become the second racetrack in the state with them. Just before Kentucky Downs acquired the machines, they had actually only been put up in Arkansas.

Geary stated he organizes to start with 177 machines, then invested the other parts after the satisfy.

Geary pointed out last fall that he intended to start supplying the gambling tools in the first three months of 2012, however that was put off due to the fact that the machines had to be developed. At that point he hoped to have them running just before the summer season satisfy at his Henderson keep track of, but chose to see precisely how the Court of Appeals would certainly rule in the debate over the game’s legality.



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Internet Sweepstakes sweeps across the US



Internet Sweepstakes businesses provide quality employment and fun entertainment for thousands across US.

“I need to check your purse to determine that you do not have a weapon” the security guard stated.

Lucky’s, located in a strip mall center just south of University and Cramer avenues, has much more than 50 desktop computers for customers to use the Internet at 25 cents a minute or send faxes at 50 cents a page.

Even though the video games appear almost identical to casino games, representatives of the Internet cafes insist what they are providing isn’t gambling but a type of sweepstakes promotion and that company model is thriving and based on the text inside the law they appear to become legal.

Within the last several weeks, along with Lucky’s, Airbase Cyber Cafe & Business Center Inc. in Roseville and Wild Rides Company Center & Internet Cafe in Chino have opened.

A representative from Lucky’s game software provider insisted that these promotions are no different than the sweepstakes that Mcdonalds has online and within their stores. “Its the same concept as these major brands are providing and have provided for 20+ years. It just took longer to be implemented from traditional sweeps to internet sweeps” says Casey Rooks of Internet Sweepstakes Network.

Prosecutors from around the state admit they’re familiar with the Internet cafe business model, but the issue is that there is a technical word for gambling and these games do not fall within that definition. “It’s not againgst the law if its a true legitimate sweepstakes”

Prosecutors from around the state have been approached by representatives of sweepstakes gaming providers who met with interested parties to present their argument for the legality of their business model, magistrates across the country have agreed that the company model does not contain a critical component. Casey Rooks explains “The transaction lacks a legal term called ‘consideration” in order to have gambling you must have it”

How the Games Work ?

Upon entering a business cafe, a customer shows his driver’s license and buys Internet time. The customer’s information is placed on a swipe card. Along with Internet time purchased come entries into sweepstakes.

“With the computer age come ways to reveal your sweepstakes entries,” stated Casey Rooks, a spokesman for the Internet Sweepstakes Network on the west coast, which helps owners establish Internet cafes. “It’s very simple, but at the same time, it’s very complex.”

At Lucky’s, a Long Beach business reporter purchased $20 worth of internet time, though, was converted into 2,000 points that were used to pay various video poker and slot machine games. The internet time that was purchased was not effected by the wager of the player, his time was his no matter how much he played.

Depending on the amount wagered, points were deducted from those 2,000 points for each play. But for each win, those winning points were set aside in another category and could be cashed in when the player stopped playing or ran out of prepaid Internet time. The Long Beach business reporter cashed in his 1,200 winning points for $12.

At Lucky’s, free soft drinks and snacks from a vending machine were handed out to customers. One evening last week, an elderly woman said that she had recently won $125 at Lucky’s. When asked about how much she lost “Its a whole lot less than I would have if I went to a casino”

During the about 30 minutes a reporter was at Lucky’s, none of the dozen patrons – all of whom appeared to be over 50 – were using the machines to check the Internet. Customers had to be 21 or older to enter the company.

Rooks said the sweepstakes games were similar towards the games that McDonald’s offers.

“When you walk into a McDonalds and buy a happy meal you are given a cheeseburger, fries and a softdrink. The softdrink usually has a peel tab on the side in the cup (a monopoly game piece) in contrast when you walk into an Internet Sweepstakes Cafe and buy Internet Time you are given access to a computer that also has access to the internet and the sweepstakes games.

In both examples, you are not required to enter the sweepstakes because you did not buy the entry towards the sweepstakes, you actaully bought the product, in this example, the Happy meal and internet time are the product.

It is the customers choice whether or not to enter the sweepstakes by either “pulling the tab on the side in the soft drink cup” or “accesing the game on the computer that they purchased the internet time on”

Rooks continues “The money did not activate the game, the money bought a product and access to the sweepstakes were free for buying the product, thus eliminating one in the elements of the technical term of gambling (which is illegal in most juristictions) This arguement has been won in courts through-out the nation”

Florida Games

Some government officials in Florida and other states see the Internet cafes as gambling houses. But attempts to shut them down have been difficult because the courts seem to agree that the states arguement of gambling isn’t fulfilled.

When Seminole County, Fla., passed an ordinance in January to prohibit the simulated gambling devices, it was hit with a federal lawsuit. The Allied Veterans in the World Inc. sued the county on grounds that the ordinance violated the First Amendment and due process.

The lawsuit asks for a preliminary injunction to prevent the ordinance from being enforced. That motion was denied, and that ruling has been appealed.

“Luckys has a right to conduct drawings and sweepstakes promotions as part of their speech-related activities,” plaintiff’s attorney Kelly Dover wrote in his 49-page lawsuit, which was filed Feb. 1.

“Apparently, it would be acceptable for Luckys to make use of paper or speak through a tin can connected to another with a string to notify its clients that they had won the sweepstakes, but it isn’t acceptable to communicate the same material using a computer display,” he wrote in the lawsuit.

Dover said in an email to 123LA Weekly last week that the attacks towards the company model are coming because “law enforcement is confronted with something with which they’re unfamiliar and once we explain the business model its usually no longer an issue”

He said if law enforcement officials and politicians inspected the businesses they would see that the Internet cafes aren’t gambling houses and the business model has won court victories across the US.

“Those officials that look closely at the operation and the law usually conclude that the activity is not only lawful but beneficial towards the community rather than a detriment,” Dover stated.

A spokeswoman for Seminole County declined to comment on the issue because in the pending litigation.

Shanks, a state legislator, stated that the Internet cafes started appearing in dozens of states about five years ago and had been growing ever since.

His advice to any state considering sweepstakes regulation was to make the laws on sweepstakes and Internet cafes clear. “If your going to keep them then regulate them, thats what we’re trying to do in Florida”

Shanks tried to get legislation passed in the 2011 session that would have regulated the sweepstakes games at Internet cafes, but it failed to get out of committee. Now, he said, he has more support, and a bill to regulate the games has been filed for the 2012 Florida session. Casey Rooks is a spokesperson for Internet Sweepstakes Network and can be reached at 1-877-946-2233 or follow him at #ISNsweepstakes on Twitter.



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