WASHINGTON, NC –An Eastern Carolina district attorney is giving sweepstake businesses seven days to shut down or face possible criminal charges.
Beaufort County D.A. Seth Edwards says 24 businesses in Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Tyrrell, and Washington counties were personally served with the letters this week.
He said the cease and desist letters should serve as a warning to the internet cafe and sweepstakes businesses in the Second Judicial District.
Edwards and North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agents delivered the letters.
The D.A. said not only are the games illegal, but they also attract violent crime, including armed robberies and the recent shooting death of a robber at Players Vape in Washington.
“It’s one thing to lose an entire paycheck playing these illegal games,” said Edwards, “but it’s another to lose a life. This is no longer just a moral or ethical issue-it has become an issue of public safety and one that cannot be overlooked,” he said.
The sweepstakes locations have been controversial and there has been uncertainty about their legality. They are widespread in some Eastern Carolina counties.