Authorities, gaming associations, vendors and
operators at odds over legality of sweepstakes
Californian law makers are seemingly mirroring North
Carolina's attempt to clamp down on internet cafe
'sweepstakes' style online gambling (see previous
The Rancho Cordova City
Council approved a 45-day moratorium last week
preventing such businesses from opening, despite the
fact that there are none operating at present. According
to the Sacramento Bee, officials are exploring an
ordinance to ban these internet cafes outright.
While the State Department of Justice issued an advisory
toward the end of last year categorising these
businesses as illegal gambling operations, operators and
vendors maintain their businesses are legal, as one
said: "The problem is perception. People think it's
gambling because the computer resembles a slot machine.
Anthony Ranaldi, chief executive officer of
Delaware-based sweepstakes vendor Sweeps Logic, added:
"You buy two hours' worth of Internet time and receive
entries to play the games; it's the same as buying a
cheeseburger and winning a prize."
Patterson, an executive director of the American Gaming
Association disagrees and questions the integrity of the
practice saying there are no background checks, no
licencing requirements and no regulation.
City of Rancho Cordova has reportedly received three
business licence applications to operate what officials
now suspect to be sweepstakes operations. Two were
approved but had not yet opened and a third was denied
following the moratorium, said planning director Paul
Another Californian county saw the
Hayward City Council passing a similar ban on
sweepstakes businesses earlier this year.