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.