Crackdown on 'sweepstakes' electronic gaming thwarted (Update: Illegal in Beaufort)

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Update: Six months on and "sweepstakes" are still firmly with South Carolina.

Update February 15: A Beaufort County magistrate ruled that a Bluffton operation was gambling and thus illegal.

Update January 28: A month after busts of the sweepstakes gaming locations were thwarted, signs of renewed effort to block the concept are emerging.

After two locations have sprung up in Charleston County, a six month moratorium was placed on permitting any such new businesses while the county can investigate ways to handle the situation and legislators work on new laws to block the games.

The Post and Courier has a rundown; take a read here.

And it's worth reminding that North Carolina has been having a devil of a time blocking the games and I hope state and local leaders are comparing notes as to not make any repeat blunders.

First reporting: Remember how crackdowns on "sweepstakes" gaming locations were taking place across the state earlier this year? Well, the whole situation has become a lot murkier.

In October I wrote that, "It's worth reminding that the grey area in the law is still pretty prominent and South Carolina is only gearing up tamp down the flames of the 'online sweepstakes' — and North Carolina has been fighting that one for years."

Well, a recent ruling by a Georgetown County magistrate seems to back up that sentiment. And, indeed, a press release has come out praising the ruling by sweepstakes system maker, HEST Technologies.

That said, other county magistrates are not bound by the Georgetown ruling. But win or loose in Beaufort, expect both decisions to be appealed up the state's court system.

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