Police are investigating a break-in at a sweepstakes parlor that filed a lawsuit against the city over police actions that forced it to close down operations.
Two males broke into the strip mall storefront of King’s Sweepstakes on Sunday, June 23 at about 11 p.m. Money was taken, according to Garner police spokesman Lt. Chris Clayton.
One suspect – described by a police press release only as “possibly a black male” – wore khakis, a white pullover and a blue fitted Yankees hat. The other wore a long sleeve blue shirt, jeans and a blue and gray snap-back hat with stickers.
Police ask that anyone with information call Investigator P. Charles at 919-773-6070.
The business, located at 507 Plaza Circle in Garner, filed a lawsuit May 23 against the police claiming they illegally prevented them from conducting legal business. Sweepstakes cafes were banned in a 2010 law, but many owners – including King’s owner Parag Patel – say they’ve adjusted to comply with the law.
Nil Entertainment, which runs King’s, says the location primarily sells high-speed Internet access. It seeks lost revenues since it closed down May 6 in response to police threats of confiscation and criminal charges.
The law doesn’t require money to be risked. It makes it illegal to operate an electronic device to conduct or promote a sweepstakes using an “entertaining display.”
It defines “sweepstakes” as “any game, advertising scheme or plan, or other promotion which, with or without payment” someone could win a prize based on chance.
Some companies have modified their software to eliminate the “entertaining display” aspect, removing the “instant reveal” of whether a prize had been won. A court case earlier this year ruled against sweepstakes owners and the Wake County district attorney advised Garner Police that such cafes were illegal.
Attempts to reach Patel were unsuccessful.