Gaston County takes on sweepstakes gambling - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Gaston County takes on sweepstakes gambling

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GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

Gaston County is known for drawing people to places like McAdenville's Christmas Lights, and the Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens.

However, another kind of attraction is designed to get folks to stop and spend time as well as their cash.

Billboards are suggesting rather than drive all the way to Cherokee, casino style games can be found right on Franklin Boulevard.

Operators of the Players Casino aren't talking on camera, and that's also the case with officials in Gastonia, but community leaders in another nearby Gaston County community are speaking out.

Tim Anderson is the Police Chief and town administrator in Ranlo, and one sweepstakes operation popped up just across the street from the town hall

"We have one located within the town and we do not have a zoning ordinance in place," Anderson said.

Like the operation in Gastonia, there is a big sign just off the interstate directing people to Ranlo, and when the locals sound off, there's a mixed bag of reactions.

One person told WBTV, "A lot of people don't think it will go over well in Ranlo."

Another Gaston County resident said, "It's just showing Ranlo is growing as a town. I work in Charlotte and they're sweepstakes places in Charlotte everywhere."

Zoning may be an issue in Ranlo, because the old textile mill turned into a gambling parlor is seven doors down from one of the town's biggest churches .

Anderson is waiting to see what the North Carolina Supreme Court does before moving forward.

"If the state allows the Sweepstakes to continue through after the court rulings, we'll have measures to limit it to certain restrictions," He said.

Later this month, city officials will decide if gambling operations there can expand from 25 to 40 machines.

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