Judge finds for sweepstakes employee

Posted April 5, 2013

Sweepstakes cafe

— The sweepstakes industry won a small victory in court last week, according to the Hickory Record

A Catawba County judge ruled that a worker at a sweepstakes cafe was not guilty of violating the state's anti-gambling statutes.

Defense attorney Lisa Dubs told the newspaper that the case is "the first ruling handed down in the state on charges against a sweepstakes worker or owner under the new state law that bans video sweepstakes."

Dubs argued the case Wednesday at the Hickory Courthouse where District Court Judge Amy Sigmon found sweepstakes worker Judy Scronce Sigmon not guilty. The two women are not related, Dubs confirmed.

Judy Sigmon was working at Circle S Depot on Springs Road on Jan. 18 when Hickory police raided the business and charged her and owners Curtis Huffman and Robert Klingensmith with misdemeanor operating an illegal sweepstakes business.

The Coalition for Electronic Sweepstakes, an industry trade group, hailed the decision.

“In our opinion, the court reached the correct decision. Unfortunately, many North Carolinians have lost their job over the last few months due to legal confusion," said Jim Harris of the Coalition for Electronic Sweepstakes.

In December, the state Supreme Court upheld the state's ban on sweepstakes as constitutional. More recently, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby told local law enforcement agencies that they should start enforcing the ban this month.

On Wednesday, a pair of lawmakers introduced a bill to legalize and tax sweepstakes at the legislature, although it was not received favorably by legislative leaders.


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  • Six String Apr 8, 2013

    "I guarantee that if this person was found guilty, it would not have been a "small" defeat. Why is all media so bias these days? matthewwright378"

    You make an assumption of what "might" be said, and then proceed to call it bias? Think that through a little and you'll see your own bias in the statement. Everything that everyone says is biased, because we all have a viewpoint that is previously established within our personalities. Even my statement is biased.

  • kermit60 Apr 8, 2013

    TAX being the key word. The state wants it's share. It's not addiction or concern for the users. If that was the case they would make tobacco and alcohol illegal as well.

  • albegadeep Apr 8, 2013

    Tax Man, while it is voluntary, it does hurt the people who play it. You say yours got $3,000 a week - that comes out of individuals' pockets. If it's a donation, great! But for many people it's an addiction, and money they can't afford to be losing.

  • Tax Man Apr 8, 2013

    Why is the state even messing with these games? If a person wants to play, let them. Our VFW Post (a non-profit that helps veterans) is losing about $3,000 a week in revenue we received from these games - we cannot make that up and so many Vets will lose out on our help! Why is the state doing this? Only thing we can think of is to protect their "lottery" from any competition. None of the people who played our machines were hurt in any way by playing them. What is the big deal???? I sure hope the industry gets this back on track soon so we can get back to our job of helping the Veterans.

  • albegadeep Apr 8, 2013

    I can't understand how the judge considered the employee's actions legal. The law currently says that the business is illegal gambling; how is the employee's working at that business, actively engaged in gambling (in the eyes of the law) considered legal?

    Sounds more like the judge doesn't like the ban. Boo activist judges! Uphold the law (whatever the law says), not your own opinion.

  • matthewwright378 Apr 6, 2013

    I guarantee that if this person was found guilty, it would not have been a "small" defeat. Why is all media so bias these days?