Category Archives: internet cafe

MGM creates 4,000 jobs in Prince George County


Pre-Reveal-GoldPRINCE GEORGE COUNTY –The District Council voted 8 to 1 on Monday, in favor of MGM Resorts International’s $925 million casino proposal at the National Harbor.

“It is exciting. You will see an impressive project. Nothing like we have seen in this area before,” said CEO and President Lorenzo Creighton of MGM National Harbor.

The council’s decision came seven months after the Maryland Video Lottery Facility Location Commission granted MGM the sixth and final casino license in the state.

“I truly believe that this is going to be the best facility in the world. The world is going to come to Prince George’s County to see the best facility,” expressed Councilwoman Ingrid Turner, D-District 4.

MGM strike a deal with general contractor Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. to build a luxurious gambling resort that will feature will feature 3,600 slot machines and 160 table games, a 3,000-seat theater, 55,000 square feet of retail space and create more than 4,000 jobs in the county.

“There’s still much work to be done to ensure a timely opening in 2016, but our construction team is already creating new local jobs. Prince George’s County is now seeing just the beginning of the employment opportunities and economic benefits our resort will generate,” Creighton stated.

MGM is expected to open on July 2016.

“We are in a very tight time schedule to make that July 2016 date, so you will see things happening very quickly,” said Creighton.

The opposition, Council Member Mary Lehman (D-Laurel) said she voted against the proposal because she hates to see the economic future on the county depend on games of chance.

“On principle, I had to say no. This is not the future that I want for this county or for my children,” said Lehman.

Jacksonville police raid internet cafes; 5 arrested


Pre-Reveal-GoldJACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The raid on two internet cafes in the Westside resulted in the arrest of five people on Friday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office reported.

In co-operation with the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office busted two internet cafes registered as “Senior Social Centers” located in Normandy and Blanding boulevards, west of Jacksonville.

Among those arrested were staff Shonderika Lowery, Gynarva Monroe, Antonio Hodges, Joyce McCaffrey and Felicia Maxwell. They were held at the Duval County jail with charges of possession of a gambling device and keeping a gambling house.

Patrons who were present during the raid were released after questioning.

According to the Rutherford, undercover agents documented the illegal gambling activities by using online games offered in Senior Social Centers. He added that the undercover cops earned as much as $136. However, they lost most of the time.

“It is clear these businesses were offering casino-style games of chance,” said Sheriff John Rutherford.

Arrested in Jacksonville

In an attempt to stop internet sweepstake café operations in California, Assemblyman Rudy Salas, D-Bakersfield authored AB1439, a bill which prohibited the unfair practice of business through contests and sweepstakes.

AB1439 disallowed the use of an electronic video monitor to simulate gambling or play gambling-themed games in a business establishment that directly or indirectly implements the predetermination of sweepstakes cash, cash-equivalent prizes, or other prizes of value, or otherwise connects a sweepstakes player or participant with sweepstakes cash, cash-equivalent prizes, or other prizes of value. By creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

“This is a prolific problem that we’re seeing in our neighbourhood’s up and down the state, where we’re seeing these illegal gaming sweepstakes cafes opening up with a myriad of problems and issues of drugs, of prostitution, impacts to local legitimate businesses in these strip malls where these things are occurring,” told Salas.

Yet, Phillip Walker, founder of the Internet Cafe Association of California argued that internet cafes were not illegal.

“On the surface it looks like it’s illegal. But once you get down to the meat inside, it really isn’t,” expressed Walker who was also one of the appellants in the petition to review the internet case ruling granted by the state’s highest court.

Lumberton man charged for robbing internet cafe at gunpoint

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SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. – The Laurinburg police arrested a Lumberton man for holding up an internet sweepstakes café at gunpoint on Saturday.

Assistant Police Chief Cliff Sessoms reported that Dedrick Moody, 31, of 1005 Blunt St., entered the internet café around 5 in the afternoon and brandished a gun before ordering staff and patrons to enter the bathroom. Moody, then, took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register as well as cell phone and keys from a customer.

The suspect was charged with two counts of armed robbery and second degree kidnapping. He was held at the Scotland County jail under $100,000 bond.

Law enforcement was expected to reinforce the law and shut down internet sweepstakes in the county following the state’s gambling ban.The Scotland County law enforcement, recently, teamed-up with Hoke County forming a Joint Gaming Task Force that hand-delivered notices to dozens of video sweepstakes establishments in both counties.

“Gambling continues to be illegal in North Carolina. We will enforce the law and prosecute cases against those who break the law,” read the notice.

Brothers rob video lottery store in Princeton

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

MERCER COUNTY – the West Virginia State Police Princeton Detachment were on the lookout for the third suspect in connection to an armed robbery at a video lottery store in Princeton.

It was reported earlier that on June 11, two white men, later identified as brothers Benjamin Lockhart and Timothy Lockhart, entered Joyce’s video lottery store on Courthouse Road around 11:11 p.m. and threatened the store clerk named Candace Lester, 25 with a knife on her throat. The two, then bind Lester with duct tape and fled with $3,700 cash.

“The evidence would suggest it was not a robbery, but rather a larceny from Joyce’s,” said Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash.

On Sunday, Benjamin Lockhart was arrested along with Lester who later admitted her involvement with the staged robbery.

According to the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment, troopers are still searching for Timothy Lockhart.

Trooper B.R. Wood told the suspect is now facing charges of grand larceny and conspiracy to commit a felony. Anyone with information is asked to contact troopers at 304-425-2101.

Connecticut Ban Bill Needed Because of Acquittal



BLOOMFIELD –more warrants of arrest are issued to suspects allegedly maintaining a sweepstakes café in the area.

Capt. Stephen Hajdasz confirmed that two suspects namely Gardner Payne and Susanne Barham were charged for operating a gambling house outside Bloomfield Business Center on Park Avenue. However, they have n’t served the warrants yet to Payne and Barham because both live in North Carolina.

Back in December 2013, Payne a political insider turned lobbyist for internet sweepstakes in North Carolina was acquitted in trial for illegal gambling.

Earlier this year, the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters went undercover to unveil sweepstakes cafes disguised as local business centers operating illegal gambling outside Mouse Pad Business Center and Tech Solutions in Enfield and Internet Connections in East Windsor.

Dozens of patrons, mostly senior citizens are caught red-handed playing and winning real cash from slot like animated video games.

After the Troubleshooters’ sweepstakes expose, both Sen. Joan Hartley and Sen. Dante Bartolomeo called for a press meeting to announce a new provision to drive out internet sweepstakes out of the state. The said bill was included in the 300 paged Budget Implementer Bill passed before the 2014 legislative deadline.

According to the senators, these kinds of businesses “prey” on the elderly and violate exclusive slot revenue compact with Connecticut’s tribal casinos.

Though business owners claim their games were legal under the state’s sweepstakes laws, law enforcement shut down these businesses in February.

Meanwhile, Mouse Pad Business Center managers Stephen Scott turned himself to State Police in Hartford and plead not guilty on charges of illegal gambling, operating of illegal gambling house and illegal gambling machines. He was scheduled for trial on May 22.

VLT’s Making Big Moves In Florida


Harry Simmes had not been surprised there would certainly be a rash of Ocala Internet cafe closings after Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a prohibition against the businesses. Simmes merely didn’t believe it would certainly happen

1-877-WIN-CAFE Sweepstakes Player

this promptly.

A minimum of fifty percent of the Internet cafes in Ocala were shut Thursday, less than 24 hrs after Scott signed the hurried legislation that was aspired to finish what many critics called storefront casinos.

“My God, we practically stayed in this place,” said the 76-year-old Simmes, standing near the Palms Internet Cafe doorway at Friendship Shopping Plaza on State Road 200. “I truly enjoyed it.”.

Inside, the computers continued to be where they were the day previously, however the business was dark and a single piece of paper along with the word “Closed” composed and videotaped to the glass front doorway. Nobody seemed within.

Simmes occasionally went to the cafe four or five times a week. A lot more lately, possibly two or 3 times weekly.

“We would certainly sit there for half a hr and invest $20 and leave again. I have a lot of sensations concerning (the closing),” pointed out the Saddle Oak resident.

“Now I’m going to have to locate something else to do. Possibly Saddle Oak bingo … and I think we’ll see a lot larger group now,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, Chief Assistant State Attorney Ric Ridgway said his office was still figuring out how you can deal with lawbreakers if some stores continue to be open. It’s feasible businessmen may be given warnings that they are damaging the law prior to apprehensions are made.

Ridgway said his workplace teams up with 30 different law enforcement companies, several of which have actually called him about exactly what to do if they find Internet cafes still working.

“I tell them, ‘Hold on a minute,’” he stated.

A few of the Internet cafes may be closing so soon due to the fact that the businesses that supplied their computer hosting servers– which ran the slot machine-like computers– appear to be closing down those server links, Ridgway stated.

“So a whole lot will wither and vanish by themselves due to the fact that they’ve lost their web servers. The remainder we’ll have to handle as they turn up,” Ridgway pointed out.

“If there’s a violation of the law, we are prosecute,” he claimed, however included that his assistance to police force is not “to go out there and seek these businesses.”.

Ridgway pointed out one of the complications was that the businesses were predominately cash industries, which made them ready for criminal task.

For the past couple of years the cafes have navigated Florida’s gambling laws by calling exactly what they offer to clients “sweepstakes”– just like obtaining a Monopoly scratch-off card at McDonald’s when you buy a burger.

The Internet cafe industry claimed its clients were not gambling. The cafe sells its customers time on the web and as part of the sale, consumers are offered a ticket. The ticket provides the consumer a chance to succeed any sort of number of games that show up on the computer screens.

The software for the games looks almost identical to slot machine games, and consumers have the chance to succeed money or coupon rewards.

In late 2010, the State Attorney’s Office went down a criminal case against an owner and supervisor of an Internet cafe in Ocala, claiming the company needed much more explanation on the condition’s gambling law.

Before that, a circuit judge discarded a similar case versus the business owner for absence of evidence.

The new law basically prohibits the computers that the Internet cafes utilize, Ridgway pointed out, placing an end to any kind of ambiguity in the law.

Gov. Scott Closes Sweepstakes Loophole While FloridaVLT Goes Live


Strip-mall parlors with slot-like video game such as those targeted in a racketeering inspection are now unlawful in Florida.

1-877-WIN-CAFE Sweepstakes Player

Gov. Rick Scott authorized a bill Wednesday that outlaws up to 1,000 store front procedures throughout the state.

“This bill is to crack down on illegal gaming – that’s exactly what the House and Senate did, they suppressed unlawful gaming. They did the right point,” pointed out Scott.
The new law took effect right away after Scott authorized the bill.

For a governor looking to improve on a distressed phase in his administration, you ‘d believe he ‘d make it an indicate authorize the bill in public. The fact that he hasn’t could possibly have a lot to do with the impact that bill may inevitably have.

However, state authorities say they will leave enforcement to regional law-enforcement officials.

Florida lawmakers voted last week to authorize the restriction. It was a quick response to a shame that brought about lots of arrests and the lieutenant governor’s resignation last month.

The storefront procedures targeted by the bill currently permit consumers to play sweepstakes games that resemble coin-operated machine. But critics compete the new law will likewise lead to the closures of senior galleries.

Democratic Representative Jim Waldman is just one of just a handful of lawmakers that voted no on the restriction, however he claims he has a great reason.

“We were expected to do a deliberative procedure, a two-year process, looking at every little thing, and what they’ve done is they’ve passed a bill that’s really visiting put out of business numerous businesses and thousands of individuals out of work,” said Rep. Jim Waldman, (D) Coconut Creek.

Senate Passes Legislation in Hopes Of Shutting Down Internet Sweepstakes Cafes


Over the arguments of Internet cafes operators, the American Myriad and even a priest, a Florida Senate panel unanimously passed legislation Monday to prohibit online slot-machine games, grownup galleries and gas station slot-

State Sponsored Video Lottery Terminals Next In Line For Banned Sweepstakes Cafes ?

machine facilities called maquinitas.

Senate Gambling Chair Garrett Richter, R-Naples, said the Legislature was not attempting to close down legit businesses like Chuck E. Cheese or Dave and Busters, which award discount coupons and prizes. Yet Internet cafes were unlawful, he said, because all gambling in Florida should be accredited by the condition.

“Gambling and gaming is unlawful in Florida unless it’s legal,” Richter stated. And “Internet cafes are illegal.”.

Both the House and Senate have actually hurried to outlaw Internet cafes after last week’s statement of a state-federal probing in to Allied Veterans of the World, an Internet cafe business that provided only 2 percent of its virtually $300 million in payouts to veterans’ teams, regardless of billing itself as a charity. A House panel passed a ban Friday and a complete flooring vote is expected today.

Allied Veterans and others said their online slots and video poker machines were really a kind of “sweepstakes,” like scratch-off tickets and bottle caps that honor prizes.

Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, sponsor of SB 1030, informed his associates that they can “not stand by an additional year” to take care of these uncontrolled gambling centers. The House voted last year to prohibit Internet cafes, yet the Senate wished to regulate them. In the long run, nothing was done.

Over the past 4 years, Allied Veterans offered more than $1.3 million to statewide and legal prospects and committees regulated by effective lawmakers who could possibly influence gambling legislation. The company also spent $1.2 million on influence peddlers last year.

Investigators billed 57 individuals associated with the business last week. Additionally, Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll surrendered after being examined about job her consulting company provided for Allied in 2009-10, when she joined the Florida House. Carroll has actually not been accuseded of any type of crime.

Unlike last week’s House committee conference, where there was minimal opposition to the bill, Monday’s hearing highlighted representatives of maquinitas, basically corner stores or gasoline station with slots that are well-liked in South Florida, in addition to adult arcades and Internet cafe operators.

“It’s visiting place a large pain on what we do as an organization,” said Michael McDaniel, united state director for American Legion of Florida, who stated his team counts on small numbers of video slots or poker machines for earnings.

An Oakland Park priest, Father Bob Caudill, stated his soup cooking area Saints Catholic Mission increased its budget by 30 percent when he installed video coin-operated machine and bingo games. And Internet cafe owners objected that the business employs an approximated 13,000 to 16,000 individuals.

Thrasher, after the conference, said the bill experiences another committee hearing. Yet he was unsympathetic to critics, though he claimed bingo would certainly not be outlawed.

“If it’s a slot machine that’s wired up under this new modern technology to make it appear like a sweepstakes game, however it’s actually a gambling game, that’s illegal,” he claimed.

Sweepstakes Cafe Owner Signs Deal With Local Fundraiser


Internet Cafes, the label does not begin to describe just what they’re all about.

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They offer internet time to consumers that then utilize their computers to play games that look similar to coin-operated machines.

Rivals of internet cafes say they’re just renegade casinos, uncontrolled and victimizing the poor.

Advocates call them small companies that have developed more than 10,000 Florida tasks. To the state law-makers they’re simply a hassle.

Last year the House moved to outlaw internet cafes.

“These are absolutely the cocaine of gaming,” claimed Rep. Scott Plakon.

The initiative was led by Representative Scott Plakon but the Senate never used up the bill and Plakon lost reelection.

The problem of internet cafes looked lifeless this year. A Senate Committee on gaming determined to cancel conferences prior to a bill that could be prepared and all gaming legislation was put on hold while lawmakers gathered more records.

Without any legislation in site State Senator John Thrasher stepped in with a bill to stop the expansion of the cafes.

“These points are unregulated. They are causing some issues around the state, permit’s make them stop, quit immediately,” pointed out Rep. Thrasher.

The bill keeps any type of new internet cafes from opening for 2 years and enables the ones in business now to keep the games going.

An inspection is underway to figure out exactly how a gaming growth in Florida would certainly influence tourism and various other set up Florida sectors. The study will certainly be the used of in the production of legislation for the 2014 legal session.

Internet Sweepstakes Company Offers Solution To Parimutuel’s That Can’t Get Slot License


Casey Rooks, a representative for sweepstakes parlor/cafe industry, which sell Internet time and offer slot-like video game promotions, made suggestions to the Senate Gaming Committee Monday to regulate their operations rather than ban them altogether.

Lucky Sweeps On Paradyme Rd

“The thought of eliminating over 15000 jobs in the worst economy since the Great Depression, for any reason is irresponsible to even consider.” Rooks goes on to say “we have introduced new theories on how to regulate and tax Internet cafes and more importantly keep all of these jobs”

Sweepstakes Cafes have been a heated debate for years in Florida. There have been many bills with different sponsors to regulate the industry and all of them to this point have failed, leaving local and state lawmakers and law enforcement holding the gavel. A number of lawsuits have be brought forward challenging local ordinances during the period.

Internet sweepstakes Cafes are seen as attraction of crime by social conservatives but offer no data to support that claim and operators claim they are legitimate sources of promotional entertainment and are no different than a McDonald’s Monopoly game.

Rooks suggest that any group, organization or parimutuel that can not get their slot license without legislature approval should consider installation of sweepstakes cafe software, “We’ve been preparing this hypothetical for years, it’s a great option for groups that can not get the proper licenses needed to compete”