Local News

Six sweepstakes companies to cease operations in NC

Posted May 6, 2015

— Six companies that provide software for hundreds of Internet sweepstakes cafes in North Carolina have agreed to cease operations in the state, the U.S. Attorney Office announced Wednesday.

Under the agreement with U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker, his office will not prosecute the companies or their principals on condition that they stop operations by July 1.

The companies are:

  • White Sands Technology LLC – 180 locations
  • Sierra Software LLC – 175 locations
  • TNT Software LLC – 40 locations
  • Digital Reveal LLC – 25 locations
  • Figure 8 Technologies Inc. – more than 200 locations before selling its software in January 2014.
  • HSV Entertainment LLC

HSV Entertainment had a lease with the City of Roanoke Rapids to operate the Roanoke Rapids Theater, primarily for concerts and other shows. The company also operated Internet sweepstakes games there. Under the agreement, HSV will terminate its operation of the theater May 18.

Walker said the city attorney for Roanoke Rapids informed him that sweepstakes devices will not be allowed back into the theater after HSV leaves. The company was paying the city $20,000 a month to lease the theater, and the money was being used to pay down the city's debt on the long-troubled facility.

“We hope this action will be a big step forward in ensuring compliance with North Carolina’s gambling laws,” Walker said in a statement. “Our office is prepared to assist the state in enforcing large scale violations of the law.”

Mark J. Senter, branch head of North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, said, “Sweepstakes machines have been a source of problems for local law enforcement and the community for years. It is our hope this action eliminates this illegal activity.”

The agreement is the result of an investigation by North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorneys David Bragdon and Joshua Royster, and the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

”This announcement marks a major milestone in the long and ongoing fight against illegal gambling,” Cumberland Sheriff Earl “Moose” Butler said in a statement. “In this case, for several years, video poker machines have been masquerading as sweepstakes. We hope these agreements will stop and deter evasion of North Carolina’s gambling laws. We have long been involved in this fight, and we will not stop until the laws passed by the legislature and the North Carolinians they represent are fully enforced.”


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  • Stacy Dalleinne May 30, 2015
    user avatar

    This hits home for me. I am one of the thousands of people that will be unemployed now because of this political nonsense. I think the lawyers for these companies need to start sueing the state, the special interests and anybody else involved in the shutting down of these businesses. Just think of all of the laws they have broken. This directly affects the economy. Two thirds of the economy is based on consumers like myself. Not to mention the building owners now will have vacant stores not collecting any rent whatsoever with little to no notice at all. I'm utterly disappointed in the local news channels as well. They should be doing more investigations into the violation of rights being ignored for the sake of bad politics. In addition, do we really need more people living off of unemployment? That comes directly out of the taxpayers pockets which in turn drains our already failing economy.

  • Mary O'Shields May 6, 2015
    user avatar

    The simple solution would be for the state legislature to legalize these machines and tax them heavily. I know at one time there were 22 of these sweepstakes places in the Sanford area. That was a great deal of money for renting the spaces (some are still vacant) and paying the employees. I heard that closing all these places across NC cost the state millions in revenue.

  • Christy Lucas May 6, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    White Sands Technology is Frontier

  • Jim Frei May 6, 2015
    user avatar

    I thought the State wants to CREATE jobs?

  • Roxey Wilkins May 6, 2015
    user avatar

    Looking at the companies that are pulling out I don't see the largest one. Frontier Software is the biggest software provider for these illegal machines. Looks like they now have a monopoly. Is WRAL going to investigate that? Also one according to Law is innocent until proven guilty by a jury of their peers. This isn't happening here and the government is in violation of its own laws. So who arrests who here?

  • Jason Chandler May 6, 2015
    user avatar

    I have worked at one of these locations for almost three years now and we have had no problems to which law enforcement has been involved. The only reason the state want to shut theses places down is cause they don't get the money like they do with the lottery which if I'm correct is also gambling. These locations bring a lot of business from other states into NC.