Court Rules Against Local “Sweepstakes” Parlors

California’s Supreme Court has ruled “sweepstakes” programs at Internet cafes in Kern County are illegal, and the computers there are equivalent to slot machines and other gambling devices.

The crackdown was spearheaded by local prosecutors, and deputy district attorney Greg Pulskamp says the message sent Thursday was clear.

“Anyone that’s still opening and operating, even if they’ve altered their business model slightly – those are illegal, illegal gambling, and our intent is to pursue them vigorously,” he said.

Police say over 20 sites were operating in Bakersfield at one point. Pulscamp says his office will now focus on taking down the developers of the software.

– Anthony Pollreisz