Raleigh police await opinion on Internet sweepstakes parlors

From staff reportsMay 18, 2013 

— While police in Durham recently raided several Internet sweepstakes parlors suspected of operating illegally, Raleigh’s parlors won’t get a visit from the law just yet.

City Attorney Tom McCormick has told the Raleigh City Council that he’s waiting for guidance from Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby. Until then, Raleigh police won’t be cracking down.

The General Assembly banned sweepstakes cafes more than three years ago, and five months have passed since the state Supreme Court upheld the ban, yet some of the parlors remain open.

Raleigh’s deputy police chief, Joseph Perry, said his officers are ready to take action once the legal issues are clarified.

Councilman Eugene Weeks said he’s eager for a solution. While the city’s statistics don’t show a high amount of crime at the sweepstakes businesses, Weeks said he thinks operators are sending problem customers to hang out across the street instead.

“They’re finding ways to circumvent everything we’re talking about in here,” said Weeks, whose Southeast Raleigh district is home to numerous parlors. Neighbors are hearing noise “all times of the night. How do we help the citizens?”

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