ROCKINGHAM CO., NH, and COLUMBIA, SC -- Operators of sweepstakes videogames in New Hampshire and South Carolina have filed lawsuits against their respective state governments. Both suits assert that bans on electronic sweepstakes games are unconstitutional because they violate free speech and equal protection.
Attorneys in both cases are evidently taking their cues from an Appeals Court ruling last March that found North Carolina's sweepstakes ban illegal because it violated first amendment protections on free speech. | SEE STORY
The New Hampshire lawsuit was filed in Rockingham County Superior Court in June by Scott and Cindy Loring of 3D Business Centers (Portsmouth and Seabrook).
In mid-July, according to local sources, the operators asked the court for a preliminary injunction so they can continue operating the games until the case goes to trial. | SEE STORY
The Lorings are hoping that a statewide ban on these devices (HB 1260) will be overturned, as it was in North Carolina.
In South Carolina, operator Terry Eddie Land of Gamecock Sweepstakes (Sumter) filed a lawsuit in federal court against the State Law Enforcement Division on July 30 in response to a raid two weeks earlier that had shut down his operation. Also named as defendants are the Sumter County sheriff and the state government.
Land, who said he paid $20,000 for state business licenses, asserted that his business is legal based on constitutional protections outlined in the 1st and 14th Amendments.
Former SLED director Reggie Lloyd, now a sweeps industry advocate, is assisting Land with the lawsuit.
Lloyd told The State newspaper that similar cases based on constitutional grounds have been filed to defend sweepstakes games in Florida, Ohio and Arkansas. | SEE STORY