Now the State Wants To Regulate the Sweepstakes Industry with HB-547

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..HB-547 May Legalize the Sweepstakes Cafe Business in North Carolina..

Charlotte, NC – Upon reflection, 2013 may be remembered as the year when law enforcement began enforcing the state’s ban on internet sweepstakes game-rooms,55mpg but as for 2014, the games are back running strong in certain parts of the state, partly due to the function of the games and the legality of some games are unclear. The N.C. Supreme Court upheld the latest legislation taking aim at the gaming industry but Internet sweepstakes operators have been able to tweak their software to follow the letter of laws aimed at putting them out of business. The latest ‘tweak’ is a software called PreReveal Sweepstakes, where the customer doesn’t enter the sweepstakes in a manner that HB-80 descibes as illegal nor does the games  ‘reveal’ in a manner that the law describes as illegal. The court challenges and victories for the sweepstakes industry happen on a regular basis. Internet sweepstakes operators continue to fight the state in court, and their chances of reopening increase with every software change and appeal. Casey Rooks, a spokesperson for Carolina Sweepstakes Group says  “It’s pretty simple, laws have definitions and if the action does not fit the definition then there’s no violation, some call this ‘circumventing the law’ but we look at it like going 54mph in a 55mph zone, in this instance, the preReveal games were launched years before the sweepstakes ban law went into effect and they do not violate the text as it is written” If the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling can keep Internet sweepstakes

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cafes closed once and for all, then the N.C. General Assembly succeeded where 20+ years of legislatures have failed but since the gaming industry has so many different types of video games, its hard to ‘outlaw’ them all. But if the internet sweepstakes industry finds enough loopholes and concessions to reopen cafes, then perhaps it’s time for North Carolina lawmakers to look for ways to tax and regulate the industry (SEE HB-547). HB-547 takes steps to finally get the NC gaming industry under control, Sponsors Wray, Collins, Floyd, Lucas, Malone, Richardson, Szoka have taken steps to in ending the confusion. NC547The North Carolina educational lottery and Internet sweepstakes seem to prey upon people who can least afford to gamble away their paychecks. But since its going to happen either way, NC should put some of that money to good use in schools and other areas of need.

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Behind Several Court Wins, Sweepstakes Operators Quietly Changing Their Game

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..Showing The Prize Before The Entertainment; The Pre Reveal Way..

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Into the second year after the state Supreme Court upheld a North Carolina law banning sweepstakes cafes, some of the places where people play fast-moving computer games that mimic Vegas-style slots are still open for business after they changed the business model to another type of game.

Pre-Reveal-Gold

Over the last year sweepstakes cafes have been shut down by police, and their owners and employees have been charged with violating the law. But some of those arrested have been acquitted of criminal charges.

A few of the operators have turned to the courts for help. They’ve asked judges to issue orders preventing law enforcement from closing their stores, saying they have new software called “preReveal”  that puts them in compliance with the statute.

The strategy has created an air of uncertainty in some communities that have been trying to close sweepstakes parlors because it makes the entertaining value of the game optional and thus not against the law.

While some cities and counties are trying to close the businesses, other communities are allowing them to stay open until key issues are resolved.

Attorney General Roy Cooper said it’s clear that sweepstakes cafes are illegal. He said his office is working closely with local law enforcement and prosecutors, providing legal advice and assistance to close the operations.

But he said sweepstakes owners have been pushing back.

pp“I think law enforcement and prosecutors are just going to have to keep plugging away at this,” Cooper told The Associated Press. “I think overall you’ve seen a reduction in the number of these businesses in North Carolina either who voluntarily go out of business or who have been shut down by law enforcement. I think it’s just going to take a period of time before its eradicated.” “You still may have them popping up like we did with the payday lending industry. They come up in different kinds of forms. It’s sort of like whack-a-mole. They come up with a different kind of nuance,” he said.

But he warned: The sweepstakes industry might change the games to comply with the law.

North Carolina lawmakers first passed a ban on video poker and all other electronic gambling in 2006. The industry quickly adapted, introducing new sweepstakes games they said complied with the law.

Lawmakers responded with new legislation in 2008 and 2010 making it unlawful to possess game terminals that simulate slot machines or are used for the display of electronic sweepstakes. The makers of sweepstakes software then sued the state, saying the ban violated their Constitutional free speech rights. The resulting court fight dragged on two years, culminating in the December 2012 Supreme Court decision upholding the ban.

After the ruling, law enforcement agencies began raiding cafes, seizing computers and making arrests.

But sweepstakes owners protested, asking lawmakers to look at new software that reveals the winners in advance, a move they say keeps them in compliance with the law.Pre-Reveal-Gold

With most sweepstakes operations, patrons buy Internet time that gives them the opportunity to uncover potential cash and prizes with mouse clicks on a computer screen.

To play at the cafes, customers get prepaid cards and then go to a computer to play “sweepstakes.” Winners go back to a cashier with their cards and cash out.

The pre-reveal system software allows participants to find out if they’ve won before they play the game.

That issue was a key part of a recent Duplin County case that involved a Charlotte-area attorney.

Gardner Payne was charged in October with six counts each of gambling, and the illegal use of electric machines and devices for sweepstakes.

He said he used the sweepstakes to promote his businesses, and that customers purchasing Internet time could find out in advance if they won.

The state law makes it illegal to conduct a sweepstakes through the use of an “entertaining display” to reveal a prize. But Gardner said the new pre-reveal software did not use an entertaining display to conduct the sweepstakes.

Prosecutors said buying Internet time was just a pretext.

But in late December, Judge Henry Stevens IV agreed with Payne, and dismissed the charges.

However, the judge’s ruling only applied to this case. So a year after the Supreme Court ruling, the issue is being played out in other counties — one case at a time.

Telephone messages left for Payne were not returned.

Sweepstakes owners also are going to court in their own communities to stop law enforcement from closing down their businesses.

 

Read More Here : http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/01/3499861/despite-ban-sweepstakes-cafes.html

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NOT GUILTY Verdict in North Carolina Pre Reveal Sweepstakes Case

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..Not Guilty Verdict Brightens The Day for Sweepstakes Operators..

Duplin County, NC – In a Eastern Carolina district court hearing a case about new ‘Pre Reveal” sweepstakes the trial came back with a not guilty verdict.Pre-Reveal-Gold

According to District Attorney Ernie Lee, Gardner Payne was arrested September 5th and charged by the Duplin County Sheriff’s Office with six counts of gambling and six counts of video sweepstakes violations.

Payne was in charge of a Sweepstakes business on NC 41 in Wallace.

On Wednesday Judge Henry Stevens found Payne not guilty of all 12 counts.

Not Guilty Verdict In New Sweepstakes Case

A law enforcement official suggested that the state will continue to enforce the law and that many places that are still open are doing so by running ‘pre-reveal games’

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Eleanor Parker, baroness in 'Sound of Music,' dies at 91

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Eleanor Parker, an actress of patrician beauty nicknamed “the woman of a thousand faces” for the range of parts she played, from a terrified prisoner in “Caged” to the icy baroness in “The Sound of Music,” died Dec. 9 at a medical facility near her

Death Summary: Eleanor Parker died at the age of 91 due to complications from pneumonia. She was reportedly surrounded by her children in a medical facility near her home in Palm Springs, and passed away peacefully.

Eleanor Parker, who was nominated for Academy Awards three times for her portrayals of strong-willed women and played a scheming baroness in The Sound of Music, has died at 91. Family friend Richard Gale said Parker 

Eleanor Parker died Monday in Palm Springs of pneumonia complications. She was 91. She earned back-to-back Best Actress Academy Award noms for Caged (1951) and Detective Story (1952) and added a third just three years later for Interrupted Melody 

Eleanor Parker, who played the head strong baroness in the Julie Andrews' version of The Sound of Music, died yesterday at her home in Palm Springs due to complications from pneumonia. She was 91. Parker leaves 

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Tila Tequila wears Nazi uniform, calls Hitler a 'sweet kid' in shocking …

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You probably haven't heard the name Tila Tequila in over a decade. Well, how's this for a celebrity follow-up? The former MTV reality star has sprung back into.

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Tila Tequila posts offensive photo of herself in Nazi attire in front of Auschwitz!

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Garth Brooks to embark on world tour after more than 10 years

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It's official: Garth Brooks' self-imposed hiatus from touring is over, and the country superstar will return to the road for a world tour in 2014, his first since he announced his plan to quit touring in 2001. Brooks, 51, made the announcement Monday, Dec.

The latest headlines from the world of country music!

Garth Brooks is finally going out on tour again! Get deets here!

Garth Brooks is finally going out on tour again! Get deets here!

It's official: Garth Brooks' self-imposed hiatus from touring is over, and the country superstar will return to the road for a world tour in 2014, his first since he announced his plan to quit touring in 2001. Brooks, 51, made the announcement Monday, Dec.

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Bears' Retire Ditka's Number

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Not only is Mike Ditka's number being retired this week, but it is likely to be the last number ever retired by the Chicago Bears.

On Monday evening, before a national TV audience, the Chicago Bears football club will finally retire the uniform number (#89) of Hall of Famer Mike Ditka – “merely” 41 years after his playing career ended and 21 years after he last coached the Bears.

FILE – In this Oct. 27, 2009 file photo, former Chicago Bears tight end and head coach Mike Ditka speaks at a news conference in Chicago. The Bears announced Friday, May 24, 2013, that they will retire Ditka's No. 89 during halftime of the Dec. 9, 2013 

Not only is Mike Ditka's number being retired this week, but it is likely to be the last number ever retired by the Chicago Bears.

CHICAGO — There will never be another Mike Ditka, a football coach who became a cultural force of nature, and now there will never be another No. 89 for the Chicago Bears. Ditka, who won an NFL championship as a tight end for George Halas in 1963 and 

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Bears' Retire Ditka's Number

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Mike Ditka said any real or perceived acrimony between him and the Bears organization has been "swept under the carpet" following the formal retirement of his No. 89 jersey Monday night at Soldier Field. "I never had any (animosity), really," Ditka

Some of you are sick of Mike Ditka. You're tired of his "schtict" on ESPN, you're tired of his countless appearances on Chicago sports radio, you're tired of the portion of the Bears fanbase that seems to revel at his greatness, you're sick of his

Tonight the Chicago Bears will retire jersey number 89, and many of us Chicago fans will rejoice as the heavens open up while the Angels themselves sing Hallelujah followed by an encore of Super Bowl Shuffle. Da Coach's 

Tonight the Chicago Bears will retire jersey number 89, and many of us Chicago fans will rejoice as the heavens open up while the Angels themselves sing Hallelujah followed by an encore of Super Bowl Shuffle. Da Coach's 

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GM's new CEO Mary Barra is no 'car girl'

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For the first time, a woman will lead one of the Detroit Three as General Motors names Mary Barra to the top post today. Currently senior vice president of global operations, she succeeds outgoing CEO Dan Akerson, who 

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The industry reacts to Mary Barra being named CEO of General Motors following Dan Akerson's retirement.

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'Amazing Race' crowns Season 23 winner

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The conclusion of the 23rd running of The Amazing Race on Sunday night drew 9.2 million total viewers and a 2.1 rating, down in the demo from both its year-ago (9.4 mil/2.6) and May 2013 (9.1 mil/2.4) finales, thus hitting an 

CBS' “The Amazing Race” dropped to a record low season finale on Sunday versus its usual fall football competition. The finale for the reality competition's 23rd edition earned a 2.1 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 

The Amazing Race's 23rd season finally concluded Dec. 9, with Amy Diaz and Jason Case emerging victorious as this year's top team. And while HollywoodLife.com is thrilled for the couple, our excitement pales in comparison to what they're both feeling 

They had to build robots, become human bowling balls, assemble giant totem poles — and make a final sprint to the finish line in Juneau, Alaska. In the first hour of Sunday night'sAmazing Race finale, four final couples competed in Japan, where they

Are you glad Amy and Jason won 'The Amazing Race?' Weigh in with your thoughts on this season's competition.

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