Police planning visits to sweepstakes businesses

Published: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 at 14:15 PM.

Havelock police did not immediately start cracking down on sweepstakes business owners whose machines may be illegal. Instead, police gave the owners some time to take actions themselves before they got involved.

Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus said Tuesday that police would be visiting the 10 businesses that had city licenses to operate as sweepstakes businesses. Cyrus said he had met Monday with City Manager Jim Freeman 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 last week that he hoped that business owners who had operated the machines would voluntarily comply with the new law by taking the illegal machines out of operation on their own before police had to get involved.

"The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that the machines are illegal and the court also denied an appeal from 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 effect and those that continue to operate do so at their own risk," Cyrus said.

Cindy Morgan, Havelock city clerk, said the 10 businesses in the city that operated sweepstakes machines 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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