21 Aug

Operating an illegal sweepstakes is a crime and a federal one at that. For a 44-year-old man and his 68-year-old father from Selma, North Carolina, the seizure of cash and gaming devices from 200 stores and restaurants by federal and state agents has resulted in multiple charges.

This isn’t the first time the two have been in trouble over gaming machines. Back in 2003, the two entered guilty pleas to federal charges for operating illegal gambling businesses and avoiding taxes. There was a $5 million fine assessed against the other man, as well as the forfeiture of 326 gaming machines.

In this case, the gaming machines were seized from North Carolina businesses in Raleigh, Garner, Smithfield, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Wilson and Kenly. The machines in question were Quarter Pusher, Sweet Carolina and Pot O Gold. Each man now faces a single count of criminal conspiracy and operating an illegal gambling business, as well as two counts of not registering their business, four counts of not keeping a record of their gambling devices and 13 counts of having gambling devices that were not marked. The older man is also facing charges for having a firearm while being a convicted felon.

Electronic gambling was first banned in the state in 2006. Many who operate the games are still fighting in court to stay open. Five software providers for so called “convenience casinos” have agreed not to do business in the state. That is in return for no criminal charges being filed.

When facing criminal charges at the federal level, it’s important to remember that the prosecutors are more experienced in most cases. You need an attorney who is also experienced in federal court and can provide the guidance and support you need.

Source: The News & Observer, “Selma father and son face illegal gambling charges – again,” Anne Blythe, Aug. 12, 2015