An undercover investigation into illegal gambling resulted in the seizure of more than 300 gaming machines from convenience stores across the state last week.
Two video gambling halls were raided in Haywood County last week following an undercover investigation by law enforcement agencies.
Despite sweepstakes-style video gambling being outlawed in the state, they have slowly crept back in to the corners of gas stations across Western North Carolina in recent months.
Maggie Valley has become the latest town in North Carolina to face the threat of a lawsuit regarding licensing fees charged to sweepstakes parlor owners.
A woman charged with illegally operating sweepstakes-style video gambling machines got off in court this week after prosecutors dismissed the charges.
Sweepstakes-style video gambling is making bold forays into the rural communities of Western North Carolina, back for yet another skirmish in the decade-long war against the betting devices.
State lawmakers have tried to ban them. Police have tried to bust them. Judges have tried to reprimand them.
Despite a statewide ban on video sweepstakes machines, the video gambling industry is taking advantage of yet another apparent loophole to introduce the machines back into Western North Carolina, apparently emboldened after local district court judges have dismissed a series of criminal charges against defiant sweepstakes operators.
For law enforcement, video gambling is like a bad case of poison ivy that keeps cropping back up all over the place, and now, it’s going after them.
A convenience store owner in Macon County was let off the hook by a judge for four misdemeanor charges of operating illegal sweepstakes machines — but it will have little or no bearing on the state’s ban on the machines.
Police across Western North Carolina have been stamping out the last bastions of illegal video gambling machines in recent weeks, calling the bluff of defiant operators who refused to go quietly.