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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 4, April 2012, Posted On: 3/12/2012

Raid On Sweepstakes Videogame Café In Sacramento Garners Headlines

Marcus Webb
sweepstakes videogames, electronic sweepstakes, slot machine, Andrew Pettit, Sacramento sweepstakes raid, Copy Planet

SACRAMENTO, CA -- Police on March 8 raided a store here that was allegedly masquerading as a copy shop, seizing 29 computers running sweepstakes videogames. No arrests were made.

Police spokesman Sgt. Andrew Pettit said the sweepstakes videos were "illegal slot machines" and that the store, Copy Planet, offered copy services as a deceptive front for illegal gambling. The business had only two copiers -- both broken and unusable, he said.

Law enforcement officials said Copy Planet's sweepstakes videogames were generating as much as $1,500 a day.

According to media outlets, California state gaming officials agree with Sacramento police that sweeps videogames are illegal gambling devices, but have so far left enforcement policies up to the discretion of local authorities.

Shane Redmond, special agent supervisor for the Division of Gambling Control, told the Contra Costa Times that sweeps videogames are "flat-out illegal." Redmond insisted there is "no gray area" in the law. | SEE STORY

Some California cities have banned sweepstakes cafés, and some began closing the sites as early as 2010.

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