• Deputies seize sweepstakes machines at parlor

    By: Dave Faherty


    CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. - Catawba County deputies made an example of a sweepstakes parlor Wednesday night, making its owner the first in the state to be charged since the courts ruled North Carolina's ban is legal.

    The deputies spent more than an hour removing dozens of sweepstake machines. The business was open and the many of the customers were surprised by the raid.

    Sheriff's deputies removed one sweepstakes machine after another out the back door of the parlor Vegas at the Lake. Sheriff Coy Reid said he received complaints the business was still open nearly two weeks after the state Supreme Court upheld a law banning the games.

    None of the customers playing Wednesday night were charged, but deputies said the manager was cited under the law for operating a sweepstakes parlor. Deputies said they sent an undercover officer in who played one of the games.

    One customer, who didn't want to show his face, said the people inside were surprised by the number of officers. Red Blanton showed up after the raid. He said he has played the games in the past and will miss the business.

    Deputies said they will take the 42 machines seized and keep them as evidence until the case is heard in court.

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