Agreement eludes county council on internet sweepstakes cafes

July 25, 2012 

Richland County Council is taking no immediate steps to discourage Internet sweepstake cafes.

No consensus emerged at a Wednesday work session on how to deal with the businesses that some consider a blight on neighborhoods.

Sheriff Leon Lott will continue to enforce laws against gambling, as he did with raids where computers were seized from two businesses recently, Lt. Steve Birney told the council. But “his priorities are still drugs, guns and gangs,” along with property crimes, Birney said.

Councilwoman Gwendolyn Davis Kennedy said she wants to prevent the illegal gambling centers from opening in the first place.

But strategies can be complicated, said Brad Farrar, one of the county’s attorneys.

-- Dawn Hinshaw

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