District attorneys discuss patrolling sweepstakes parlors - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

District attorneys discuss patrolling sweepstakes parlors

SOUTHEASTERN, NC (WECT) - Authorities are now legally allowed to patrol the electronic games. But the Supreme Court's ruling has lots of law enforcement officers and sweepstakes in limbo.

Now that it's legal for authorities to patrol electronic gaming parlors, next week, two area district attorneys will have a joint meeting with officers to figure out how they're going to monitor these businesses.

"We're going to get the heads of all law enforcement officers in the five county area," said Jon David, District Attorney in Columbus, Brunswick, and Bladen counties. "Really identify what best practices are in Southeastern North Carolina. We want to make sure we have a unified and joint response to this issue."

Prosecutors say there are other types of enforcement that could still be out there when it comes to sweepstakes parlors, including breaking the law when it comes to civil matters. But their focus will be on the criminal aspect.

"What we're always looking at with video poker, it's not uncommon then what we have with other things like drugs," said Ben David, District Attorney for New Hanover and Pender counties. "There are some drugs that are legal, some illegal. We need to make sure we only go after illegal things with criminal laws."

Although guidelines regarding what to look for have not been set yet for law enforcement officers, the David brothers have this message for sweepstakes owners:

"It's illegal right now as we're talking," said David. "Even though it's not being enforced now and won't be for awhile, we can always look back from Jan. 3 on. We have a two-year limitation with any misdemeanor, and there is no limitation for felonies."

They say that they will also reach out to the attorney general's office and other district attorney offices. 

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