Six sweepstakes companies to cease operations in NC
Posted May 6, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.”