DA letter directs sweepstakes parlors to 'cease and desist' by Dec. 1

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

The wheels are still spinning for the handful of video sweepstakes parlors that are still open, but after years of legal maneuvering that letter from the district attorney could finally stop them.

"You are hereby directed to cease and desist operation of your illegal video gaming machines not later than December 1, 2013," or, the letter states, they could face criminal charges.

The owner of one gaming parlor told Eyewitness News he plans to do just that.

It was news to the people who were in there Thursday afternoon.

It's a bad thing, Douglas Cureton said, because he's retired, and comes here almost every day.

The order to close down is a bigger problem for employees of these businesses.

Yareli Lopez has been working here for a year and supporting her mother with the money she earns.

"And now I don't know what to do. I have to find another job. It's going to be hard for me, but oh well," she said.

The employee at another parlor said through the door that they also are planning to close.

Many of those parlors had already locked their doors, and this may well be the end for the sweepstakes businesses in Charlotte.

With millions of dollars at stake some may still try to spin the legal wheel and find a way around the order.

The owners of some sweepstakes parlors could ask a judge for an injunction until they can make their case in court, but as of late Thursday afternoon, the District Attorney's Office said they haven't heard of anyone asking.

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