ALE Charges Three Sweepstakes Business Owners in Gibsonville

1/15/2015
 

North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement special agents today charged three Gibsonville sweepstakes business owners with operating illegal video game machines.

Charged were: Robert Cooper of Snow Camp, owner of C& C Internet, 115-117 Lewis St., Gibsonville; Jiaguan Liu of Burlington, owner of CJ's Business Center, 115 Eugene St., Gibsonville; and Weimin Jiang of Burlington, owner of Q&Q Biz, 212 West Main St., Gibsonville.

The charges stem from North Carolina’s gaming laws against promoting, operating or conducting a server-based electronic game promotion, and for any person to possess any game terminal with a display that simulates a game ordinarily played on a slot machine. (G.S. 14-306.3)

More than 200 illegal sweepstake gaming machines and $14,277 in cash were seized.

The investigation stemmed from complaints made by local residents to Gibsonville Police Department Chief Ron Parrish.

Alcohol Law Enforcement special agents made undercover visits to the locations during the past month and found numerous illegal sweepstakes video gaming machines and illegal lotteries.

Chief Parrish had hand-delivered letters to the owners alerting them to a recent ruling by the North Carolina Court of Appeals that upheld the convictions of two people who violated the state law banning internet sweepstakes games.

“I wanted video gaming owners to be clear about the ruling and give them the opportunity to remove illegal machines,” Parrish said. “While some users may find the machines to be an idle amusement, others become addicted and lives are destroyed. The majority of residents would like to see our City of Roses remain the friendly, family-oriented community that it is, and removing these sweepstakes operations will help preserve the wholesomeness of our small town.”

The investigation is continuing and more arrests and charges could follow.

“Other police agencies and sheriffs’ offices in North Carolina have made similar notifications to sweepstakes operators,” said Mike Yates, special agent in charge of ALE’s district office in Greensboro. “The arrests today in Gibsonville should be a wake-up call to businesses that provide illegal video gaming to their customers.”

Law enforcement personnel from the Gibsonville Police Department, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation participated in the execution of search warrants at the locations.

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Contact: Patty McQuillan
Phone: (919) 369-0732