COLUMBIA, SC -- Internet-based sweepstakes videogames won a reprieve of sorts in the South Carolina Legislature in mid-March. But the electronic games lost battles in a Georgia federal appeals court and on the streets of an Ohio city.
In Columbia, SC, a proposal to ban sweepstakes games passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee 15-6 on March 20. But before the week was over, the measure was effectively tabled for the year when an influential senator placed a minority report on the bill, signaling it was unlikely to pass the full senate. Local judges in the state have issued conflicting rulings on the legal status of video sweeps.
In Florida, on March 21, Seminole County's ordinance blocking sweeps cafés was left intact when a federal appeals court in Atlanta, GA, declined to block its implementation. Meanwhile, the constitutionality of the ordinance continues to be litigated in another federal court, in Orlando, FL, where a trial may take place in early 2013. Plaintiffs in the case include the nonprofit Allied Veterans of the World, along with operators and a gaming software company.
Police in Chillicothe, OH, raided a sweeps game venue the week of March 20, confiscating 87 machines and filing misdemeanor gambling charges against owners and employees.