Havelock police encouraging businesses to comply with sweepstakes law


In this photo provided by the Carteret County Sheriff's Office, Sheriff Asa Buck, right, and Newport Police Chief Jeff Clark look at wrapped up video gambling machines. In a tour of 13 businesses in Carteret County, authorities found just two that had illegal machines, and both were cooperative in shutting down the machines, according to a release.

Carteret County Sheriff's Office
Published: Friday, January 4, 2013 at 12:57 PM.

Havelock police are not immediately cracking down on sweepstakes business owners whose machines may be illegal. Instead, they hope the owners take actions themselves before they get involved.

Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus said that he would be meeting with city manager, possibly on Monday, to determine a course of action.

A N.C. Supreme Court ruling last month cleared the way for a law that makes the gambling machines illegal in North Carolina.

Cyrus said he hoped that business owners who have operated the machines will voluntarily comply with the new law by taking the illegal machines out of operation on their own before police have to get involved.

“The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the machines are illegal and the court also denied an appeal form some of those business owners asking that that ruling be set aside so what we have is a situation where the new law does take affect and those that continue to operate do so at their own risk,” Cyrus said. 

Cindy Morgan, Havelock city clerk, said 10 businesses in the city operated sweepstakes machines and paid a sweepstakes business privilege tax to operate legally until the new law and court ruling.

Havelock earned $48,000 in revenue for the last fiscal year from the businesses.

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