Promotional Sweepstakes Company Looking For Owner Operators For New Market OpBAKERSFIELD, 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 expressed 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.Bakersfield 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.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.
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.
“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.
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
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”
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.
The law is predicted to be challenged in court and a long and legal battle is expected.