Sweepstakes owners fold, leave state

March 26, 2013 9:00:00 PM PDT
The owners of sweepstakes parlors in Cumberland County are packing up and leaving the state.

ABC11 cameras were rolling Tuesday night as authorities raided sweepstakes locations across the county. Now many of those remaining shops sit empty and dark.

Kiet Vo owns three locations in the county. He said he kept his businesses open because there was no enforcement, but shut them all down after seeing Sheriff Moose Butler's raids on television.

"I see the other place, they shut them down, so I didn't want them to come and take my equipment," Vo said.

Now Vo is packing up his equipment and leaving the state to where sweepstakes cafes are legal.

But Vo said this is an expensive wake up call for him, since he has already paid his taxes for 2013.

"I been paying almost $200,000 a year in city taxes. $2,500 for every computer in your store," Vo said. "I think it's unfair for the sweepstakes owners because it's not different from the lottery."

If owners and employees of sweepstakes parlors do not shut down their businesses, they could face felony charges that could lead to several years in jail, according to the county attorney.

Eight search warrants were issued Tuesday and at least five people were arrested on electornic sweepstakes, operating video gaming machine and allowing faming tables charges.

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