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Play now!It is the end to Sweepstakes Cafes in North Carolina.
The new ban has just taken plae this past Wednesday in North Carolina, making video poker and electronic gaming illegal.  But the operators and owners of these “Sweepstakes Cafes” are saying they won't go down without a fight, they have no intention of closing down their business because lawmakers think it's best. There is an estimated 100 of these cafes in Mecklenburg County and 1,000 statewide. But that's just an estimation, they just have a way of popping up.

One specificaly, Tryon Village Business Center. moved into a strip mall in February.  But they get around being known for electronic gambling by advertising copying and internet access - not gambling, outside of the venue. Inside, however it is less like a copy shop and more like Las Vegas.  There's stale smoke, rows of computers and a couple of old-school video poker machines against the back wall.   The way it works is that guests buy pre-paid phone and internet cards and get credit to play the games. Tryon Village Business Center Manager Tremecia Bell says the video poker machines will have to be removed due to the ban, as will the games on the computer terminals, but not all of them.

But some of the game operators believe a recent superior court ruling has loopholes whichh will allow room to continue offering the internet-based games with new software that scales back on the flashy display.

A coalition of sweepstakes operators in North Carolina have formed and they are pushing for the legislature to legalize the machines, regulate them and take a cut of the profits. What lawmakers have ever passed up the opportunity to take a profit cut?  Opponents say the sweepstakes cafes encourage gambling addiction and attract violent crime.


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