Local Town Tightens Sweepstakes Rules
HUNTERSVILLE, NC- Sweepstakes cafes are popping up all over Charlotte. In North Carolina, the internet gaming is not considered gambling. But any businesses like these looking to set up in Huntersville won't have it easy under new rules.
"I think they should be outlawed in the whole state. It is legalized gambling and if you look at their clientele and who they prey on... they prey on people that are poor," said Ron Julian, Town of Huntersville commissioner.
Now, sweepstakes cafes in Huntersville must be at least 400 feet from any neighborhoods, schools, churches, child-care centers, playground and parks.
"Limit it to a certain highway commercial area... if crime does happen, not have it in a place that it's going to affect the community that bad," said Julian.
Like some charlotte sweepstakes, there's no alcohol and customers must be over 18.
Some residents who live near the parlors say the late-night hours bring bad crowds. A motion to force sweepstakes to by close by 6p.m. in Huntersville was struck down.
Most sweepstakes cafes in Charlotte have tinted or blocked windows so you can't see what's happening inside. That's the reason for another Huntersville rule that says anything happening on the inside has to be visible from the outside.
Julian says although the town can't ban sweepstakes, they hope new rules are a step in the right direction.
In July, two men robbed Saints and Sinners Sweepstakes Cafe in Charlotte at gunpoint. A spokesperson for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says that's the only incident this year.
Police say the parlors haven't been a major crime issue in Charlotte.