Wednesday, March 20, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The South Carolina House has approved a bill that supporters say clarifies that sweepstakes machines are illegal video gambling.
The measure approved Wednesday is meant to close loopholes that business owners cite to operate so-called sweepstakes cafes. Another vote would send it to the governor. The Senate passed it in January.
The vote comes a week after 50 people were arrested in South Carolina and other states as part of an investigation into a Florida-based charity accused of running gambling parlors with computer slot-machine-style games. Investigators say the group's executives gave little to veterans and lavished millions on themselves.
Attorneys say the group ran legal sweepstakes, much like contests sponsored by fast-food restaurants or retailers.
That's the same argument used by supporters of sweepstakes cafes in South Carolina.
(Copyright 2013, The Associated Press)