NC sweepstakes café owners seek money taken from FBI raids

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

RALEIGH - Several business owners petitioned to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a crackdown on internet gaming.

During the spring, the FBI in cooperation with the state Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement busted about 176 sweepstakes parlors including those leased at Big Boy’s 66 Truck Stop in Kenly.

“A whole band of agents come busting in the doors. They took over. They took the money, all the paper money in the office,” told Walter Powell Jr., a truck stop owner.

According to Powell, authorities confiscated all the cash including Big Boy’s which was not connected to any internet gaming operation.

“We’re talking anywhere from $1,300 to hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Raleigh lawyer Dan Boyce who called the law hypocritical.

Boyce argued the law enforcement should be investigating Ricky Godwin, a sweepstakes game vendor in Selma who supplied coin-operated games to truck stops and not the gaming parlors in Kenly.

The gaming parlors busted in May was back in business after a legal advice stated that pre-reveal software used were in-line with the law.

“It was overreach. Not only that, there was the threat of criminal prosecution, which I find to be unbelievable,” Boyce said.



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Ex-con Las Vegas casino robber wheeled into court

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LAS VEGAS – An ex-con charged for robbing a Las Vegas casino and using the money to lavish on hookers and bribe a tourist in booking a hotel was wheeled in court with a spit mask around his neck and a blanket over his body.

Scott Carmitchel, 34, was ordered to appear in Clark County Justice Court “by any force necessary” after the suspect reportedly refused to cooperate with authorities.

“Carmitchel has refused to cooperate in any way with the investigation and was combative with officers throughout the booking process,” told an officer

During his appearance, the felon from Kansas did not open speak or open his eyes. An officer also had to hold the suspects head in position for the mug shot.

56789098765fvjnBased on the police report, Carmitchel robbed a casino cashier at Bellagio on Friday and fled with $43, 500 on hand. He was arrested the next day, after a tip off that he was socializing with hookers at the Hard Rock resort.

Carmitchel was charged with one count of interference with commerce by robbery at the Bellagio and one count of armed bank robbery at a City National Bank along East Tropicana Avenue.

According to Deputy Public Defender Mike Wilfong, a “social worker” would be needed in preparation of Carmitchel’s defense.



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Politicians against gambling bill in Massachusetts

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Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

BOSTON – The three Democratic candidates for the state’s treasurer were unified against casino in Massachusetts during a debate on TV.

The candidates namely Tom Conroy of Wayland, Barry Finegold of Andover and Deb Goldberg of Brookline told they are against casinos in Massachusetts and expressed concerns for the state’s lottery.

According to the Supreme Judicial Court, a referendum to revoke the 2011 expanded gambling law which allowed three regional resort casinos and one slot parlor will be voted upon on the statewide ballot on November.

State representative Conroy of the 13th Middlesex District told that the gaming bill could create more bankruptcies and hurt the state’s budget.

“I’m the only one who has done a cost-benefit analysis. The costs outweigh the benefits,” Conroy stated.

Meanwhile, Goldberg who served six years for the Brookline Board of Selectmen told that the money generated from lottery tickets was the only unrestricted general funding communities received from the state.

Senator Finegold stated that he voted twice against the gambling bill.

“The gaming bill is a bad bet for the Commonwealth,” Finegold said.

Goldberg also agreed with Finegold saying online gambling would hurt small business like lottery outlets.

“They are terrified of this. Online gambling – there couldn’t be anything worse,” Goldberg expressed.



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Resorts Casino to launch PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker under Sportech-NYX Gaming

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Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Resorts Casino Hotel announced to launch PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in New Jersey under SNG Interactive, a joint venture of Sportech and NYX Gaming.

“PokerStars is the leading world-wide brand in online gaming and we are looking forward to our future with them in New Jersey,” told casino owner Morris Bailey.

Bailey also said he welcomed the Amaya Gaming Group which acquired PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker for $4.9 billion.

The partnership with Sportech and NYX Gaming will allow to launch a variety of slot games, table games, roulette and blackjack.

“SNG’s extensive knowledge of the online gaming industry combined with Resorts’ long-standing history of first-class land-based gaming will allow us to bring New Jersey online gamers a fresh, unique and user-friendly experience,” said CEO Mark Giannantonio.

In June 2013, Resorts Casino Hotel placed an online poker agreement with PokerStars. However, the license application was suspended due to the Rational Group’s dispute with the U.S. federal government.

“This is an exciting era of gaming in New Jersey, and we are confident it will be another positive stepping-stone in Resorts’ storied history,” expressed Bailey

Last week, Amaya announced its intention to start licensing talks with the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

DGE Director David Rebuck said he was encouraged with the deal which prompted the resignation of executives from PokerStars due to fraud and money laundering.

The Director said the discussions with Amaya will reactivate the application of PokerStars to enter NJ’s market

“I think in the long run it will be a good story for New Jersey. I’m optimistic that they know what the rules are, and I fully expect them to be very aggressive because they want to be here,” he added.



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New Gaming Business Opens Doors For Entrepreneurs

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Pre-Reveal Sweepstakes

Seneca to run $150M Traditions casino

TOWN OF UNION – the Seneca Gaming Corp, a chartered corporation of the Seneca Nation of Indians who runs three casinos in western New York proposed to run the $150 million Traditions Resort & Casino.

“The Traditions Resort & Casino project is a historical opportunity for the Southern Tier,” told Bill Walsh, whose clan owns the Traditions at Glen.

According to Walsh, the Seneca Gaming Corp would manage the gaming floor including all associated amenities like valet parking, retail shops and restaurants.

He also noted that the corporation was hired to manage the gaming facilities and not to finance the casino.

“At this time now, we’re not ready to disclose the financiers that we have in the project,” said Walsh.

Walsh stated that after travelling around North America, looking for the perfect operator, they decided to give Seneca Gaming Corp. the privilege to run the casino at Traditions because of Seneca’s understanding on the significance of revitalizing and partnering with the community.

“This is the right project at the right time and now we have the right partner,” Walsh announced.

Meanwhile, Seneca Gaming Corp. CEO Cathy Walker revealed they signed the deal with Traditions because it has the potential to revitalize the Southern Tier.

“The reason that we are partnered with Traditions is because of the vision of the Walsh family,” Walker expressed.

The casino proposal worth $150 million will add 160 rooms to the existing 41-rooms hotel, and 50 gaming tables with 1,200 slot machines.




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Sweepstakes Cafe Sues City And State For 2.4 Million


The manager of Buckeye Internet Center has filed a claim against the city, authorities and U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task

877-WIN-CAFE Sweepstakes Games in Brownsville

Force for the return of its seized computer terminals and $ 2.4 million.

The suit was submitted Sept. 12, just days prior to a Chillicothe Municipal Court hearing on a motion to dismiss offense charges of running a gambling house submitted against Juanita Willis and Normand Owings. Written arguments in the criminal case are because of Judge Toni Eddy by Oct. 23.

That motion and the suit count on Replacement House Bill 386 that entered effect June 11. The bill stopped the opening of any kind of new sweepstakes companies, commonly called Internet cafes or centers, through June 30, 2013. The very same law required any kind of existing businesses to provide an affidavit to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by July 11.

Attorney Vincent Rakestraw battles that Buckeye Internet Center was a sweepstakes operation and that the bill enables such business.

Chillicothe Law Director Sherri Rutherford and Ross County Prosecutor Matt Schmidt, having said that, have actually preserved the establishments remain unlawful gambling affairs under existing law, yet concur the new law has actually further intricated the problem.

Rulings around the state over the past few years have actually not corresponded and caused regulative legislation being introduced in April 2011.

More than 700 businesses have filed with the Attorney General, including the Buckeye Internet Center, which was situated at 908 E. Main St.

Owings filed the affidavit, and also one for the shut Spinners Cafe on West Broad Street in Columbus.

The meet exposes Spinners manager Stephen Cline, of Ashville, also possesses Buckeye Internet Center. In a Chillicothe Gazette story that operated prior to the March raid, Willis, of Laurelville, had stated she was the owner. She and Owings, of London, were charged as a result of the search warrant served at the business and all 85 computer terminals there were seized.

Cline’s Columbus task enclosed 2010, regarding 6 months after district attorneys filed a civil lawsuit from the business. In 2011, although Spinners had actually closed, a judge ruled the business was a civil nuisance. Having said that, the machines never ever were confiscated, and regional authorities think they are the ones drawned from Buckeye Internet Center in Chillicothe when it was closed down.

The suit claims Buckeye Internet Center’s closure has actually resulted in a $ 14,285.71 reduction per day to its owner.

As such, it asks the court to award Cline $ 2.4 million for the loss of revenues over 173 days.

Rutherford quickly broached the match throughout Chillicothe City Council’s Monday meeting, wondering about the credibility of that amount being lost because the center has yet to pay any kind of levies to the city.

“It develops a ton of money that’s never explained,” Rutherford advised the council.

Council’s Security Solutions Committee had actually formerly examined possible legislation banning sweepstakes companies, however it was voted out of committee in the spring.

Councilman Dustin Proehl, Protection Solutions Committee chairman, claimed part of the factor was because of the state’s moratorium on such businesses and the idea that unless the townships likewise moved to prohibit the businesses, they might just relocate promptly outside the city.

Rutherford pointed out to council she has the impression that the townships would want passing legislation to completely prohibit Internet cafes if the city even passed legislation.

Schmidt, who serves as legal counsel for the townships, said none especially have asked for resolutions.

“Yet if or when the city prepares to do an ordinance, I will synchronize with Sherri to do resolutions for all the townships that want to take part on maintaining those business out,” Schmidt pointed out.

Feasible legislation for sweepstakes has not been reassigned to the Protection Services Committee, but Proehl expects obtaining the assignment quickly.



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Harlingen Sweepstakes Cafe May Have Started Hest Raid


City officials are exploring a request to permit what would be the very first “sweepstakes game room” to begin in Harlingen.

Apparao Raguthu has applied for a specific use permit to start the game room, considered an adult company, at the Harlingen Hotel and Events Center, 6779 W. Expressway 83, which is in a general retail community. He stated the “operation will fully comply with state law and local requirements.”

Raguthu informed city commissioners Wednesday that he has actually formed a nonprofit organization and that 5 percent of gross profits would be donated to a charity called Skyeward Bound Ranch.

He added that next week he will proclaim the name of the company that will in fact operate the game affair when he has finalized the proper documentation.

Attorney Rick Rodriguez, previously a Harlingen mayor, stated this week that he exemplifies the owners of the establishment.

The application refers to Skyeward Bound Ranch, yet Rodriguez pointed out that the charity will certainly be changed.

“We want it to be the Harlingen Boys & Girls Club,” Rodriguez stated.

The City Commission collectively tabled action on the request Wednesday evening, expressing issues. Commissioners stated they had unanswered inquiries, required direction from legal counsel and wished to view paperwork pertaining to the proposed company, featuring its business as a non-profit organization.

“We haven’t seen a lot of things in this case,” Assistant City Attorney Rick Bilbie advised the commission.

Gerald Gathright, executive director of the Harlingen Boys & Girls Club, said Wednesday evening that he had not heard of the sweepstakes game proposal or any kind of chance of the Boys & Girls Club obtaining any type of funding.

Nevertheless, Gathright said anything relating to the concern would need to be taken into consideration by the club’s board of directors.

“I will say that Rick Rodriguez has always been a good friend of the Boys & Girls Club,” Gathright pointed out. “I’m sure he would have our best interests at heart.”

District 5 Commissioner Joey Treviño said the application would rely on “some issues that have to be worked out.”

State regulation differentiates between a “sweepstakes” game room and an eight-liner hall, the commissioner added.

The city attorney’s office and other departments, such as Planning and Zoning, assessed numerous facets of the application, he pointed out.

Treviño said the Planning and Zoning Department authorized the game hall and, “if the business complies with state law as a ‘sweepstakes game hall,’ then we’ll have to approve it.”

Continuous random police checks would be called for, city records state.

“This has the approval by the state of Texas,” Raguthu pointed out of the sweepstakes game room he seeks to operate. “Everything will be according to the rules,” he stated.

The operation will additionally abide by city and Cameron County laws, he stated.

In the course of Wednesday evening’s City Commission meeting, District 3 Commissioner Mike Mezmar stated he believed it was peculiar that other sweepstakes game rooms “funnel” charity proceeds to the same charity, Skyeward Bound Ranch in Fort Worth, although its headquarters are in El Paso.

“Just curious that’s all … It raises questions about this charity,” Mezmar added.

Rodriguez showed up prior to the commission with Raguthu and informed the commission that he had told Raguthu to choose a local charity. Rodriguez and Raguthu maintained that sweepstakes game rooms have been “sanctioned” by the state and the commission showed that it wished to see evidence of this. Rodriguez said that there currently are 12 game rooms in Cameron County.

Yet Mayor Chris Boswell indicated that this would be the very first in Harlingen. “Being first has its disadvantages and advantages,” Boswell said.

District 1 Commissioner Danny Castillo conveyed problems concerning feasible loopholes in the regulation that could be “manipulated to provide a venue or activity that would otherwise become illegal.”

District 4 Commissioner Jerry Prepejchal voiced worry regarding safety, and stated that if the game room would be opened 24 hrs a day as proposed, then safety should be supplied constantly.

The legislation provides solely non-cash merchandise awards valued at $ 5 or less, according to papers filed with the application.

Although initial plays on the machines, which mimic eight-liner machines, are complimentary, the legislation permits regular “contributions” to the game parlor of $ 5, $ 10 with a max contribution of $ 100 a day, Raguthu stated.

Raguthu added he will guarantee that no unlawful action occurs on the property.

“We haven’t had eight-liners for several years, since before I came into office,” Treviño said. “This ‘sweepstakes’ is a new loophole.”

A statement from Fire Marshal Danny Warner, featured in the City Commission agenda packet, says that on July 7 “a fire inspector found that there were 30 game stations already in place while he was there to verify the absence of an existing fire sprinkler system.”

Raguthu pointed out Wednesday he has actually had fire sprinkler businesses check the building and make proposals for work to be done when the application is authorized by the city.

An additional agenda item from Ramiro Gonzales, city environmental health director, states the establishment meets health department demands however a food permit will be required.

Raguthu stated he has submitted an application for a city food permit, however only pre-packaged meals and treats will be served and no cooking will be done on the property.

The game room will be operated in an independent room beside the bar-lounge, Rodriguez stated.

Rodriguez stated that, although some people may not like electronic game halls, they are not unlawful.

“It’s kind of like a bingo hall,” the attorney pointed out of an “adult sweepstakes gaming hall.” “Why do they allow bingo?” Rodriguez inquired.

“People work hard for their money and they should be able to do what they want with it,” he stated.

“They are taxed and 5 percent of whatever they make goes to charity,” Rodriguez pointed out of sweepstakes game halls.



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