Charlotte sweepstakes parlor open despite state ban - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Charlotte sweepstakes parlor open despite state ban

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A recent court ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the state's ban on video sweepstakes parlors, and the operations were required to close on January 3.

Now, some operators claim they've found a loophole that allows them to stay in business. WBTV discovered that the "Fabulous Sweepstakes" located on the corner of Albemarle Road and Farm Pond Lane is still open for business.

The parlor owner, who gave WBTV an interview, says his machines have a "software upgrade" that makes his business in compliance with the state law. State officials say machines with "entertaining displays" that resemble gambling are considered illegal.

CMPD officers are taking the sweepstakes ban seriously. A spokesman says officers are giving sweepstakes owners a notice, describing the law, and how it should be followed.

Bruce Lillie is an attorney with the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Office. He would not comment on an specific parlor, but talked in general about the ban.

"CMPD and our other law enforcement partners are going out, they are looking at the different places that have these machines and they are going to make sure they comply with the law," he said.

Lillie says the law refers to specific machines that are an offshoot of the now illegal video poker machines.

"The places that don't change their practices are going to have to face coming to court and being charged," he said.

Lillie says each sweepstakes parlor will be looked at separately.

Click here for a look at the bulletin CMPD is handing out to local sweepstakes parlors.

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