Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 7, July 2011, Posted On: 7/7/2011
Sweepstakes Viddie Enforcement Continues In South
sweepstakes videogame, video game, poker machines, electronic sweepstakes, Thomas Jefferson Harris III, Internet cafe, gambling video games, amusement business
From Virginia to Georgia, district attorneys and local police are stepping up their enforcement campaigns against Internet cafés that feature casino-style videogame entertainment linked to sweepstakes with cash prizes.
In Hampton Roads, VA, Thomas Jefferson Harris III pled guilty on July 6 to operating a gambling enterprise through his TJ & J Enterprises Inc. and shut down his sweepstakes game operations. He also forfeited 25 computers that had been seized by police and agreed not to engage in similar operations in the city. Six more businesses have also been raided and their owners indicted. Virginia outlawed sweepstakes videogames earlier this year. | SEE STORY
In Horry County, SC, police raided an Internet café on July 5 and seized 24 computers. However, gambling laws in that state remain unclear about the status (or definition) of sweepstakes videogames and authorities in more than one jurisdiction have requested clarification from the state's attorney general. | SEE STORY
In Moultrie, GA, police on July 4 searched an Internet café, arrested four people there, and seized an undisclosed number of alleged gambling devices and thousands of dollars in cash. | SEE STORY