Laurinburg police say they plan to aggressively enforce the new ban on sweepstakes parlors.
Last month, the N.C. Supreme Court found the 2010 law banning Internet sweepstakes gaming was not over-broad and upheld it. The court’s ruling went into effect statewide last Thursday.
Interim Police Chief Kim Monroe said Wednesday that his department has sent out notices to all documented businesses with sweepstakes machines. There are about 25 Internet sweepstakes businesses in the city limits.
“The warnings are to remove any and all devices used for the purpose of gambling, Monroe said. “Criminal violations in any form of gambling will be aggressively pursued by the Laurinburg Police Department with no exceptions.”
Monroe said the notices should give the sweepstakes parlors a “brief time” to transition out of the business.
Those who do not comply will be charged and all equipment as well as tools used for advertising is subject to seizure and held as evidence for court, Monroe said.
“I don’t anticipate anyone resisting the law as it stands now because the statute is pretty clear in its purpose,” Monroe said. “Once the transition phase is exhausted, the enforcement phase will begin. Hopefully, it will not come to that and I appreciate everyone working with us on this pressing issue. So far patrons have been most cooperative.”
Scotland County Sheriff Shep Jones said he planned to give similar notices to sweepstakes parlors out in the county before beginning enforcement.
Jones and Monroe meet with officials at the District Attorney’s office earlier in the week to discuss how to enforce the ban.
Statewide, it’s unclear whether the sweepstakes parlors owners will find a legal way to operate their machines. Industry officials said software companies are trying to formulate new products that will be legal under the law.