Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers are paying personal visits to all "sweepstakes parlors" in the area this week urging proprietors to make sure they're complying with a new ban on the electronic games. WFAE's Julie Rose reports:
CMPD Deputy Chief Vicki Foster estimates there are about 100 free-standing sweepstakes parlors in Mecklenburg County. Most shut down about a week ago when a state ban on the games went into effect, but Foster expects many to reopen in the coming days.
"It doesn't take that long to update software, so that's one of the reasons why it is a priority to get out quickly and get that information out quickly because we do anticipate that people will be reopening," says Foster.
Some re-openings have already begun. The new law prohibits the use of "entertaining displays" for the games, so some proprietors hope to skirt the ban by having the game inform a customer up front whether they'll win or lose.
By Friday night, Foster says CMPD officers will have visited all sweeps parlors in the area with an 8-page memo outlining the new law and warning owners to make sure their games are comply. Is a police sweep of sweepstakes parlors in store? Probably not. CMPD attorney Mark Newbold says the law will be enforced on a case by cases basis.