About this time last year authorities shut-down the Lucky Sweepstakes room at the Kindle Lanes Bowling Ally for hosting internet cafes. Law enforcement officials said the cafes were a form of gambling.
Jackson County Sheriff's officials and the State Attorney's office hoped to have state guidance before facing Lucky Sweepstakes' owner, Specialized Games LLC in court.
But, in the two sessions the state legislature has had to draft regulations, they've failed to do so. Now, both parties will have to roll the dice in court on their own.
Defendants Sheriff, Lou Robert's and State Attorney, Glenn Hess believe Lucky Sweepstakes was in clear violation of the law. But, the plaintiff's attorney, Jim Lewis said, internet cafes were no different than any other sweepstakes. He likened it to buying a drink at a gas station and checking the cap for a prize.
But Hess disagreed."The long and short of all of this is, unless it's authorized by the legislature it remains illegal and we'll follow the law" he told us.
Lewis said he felt prepared to take the case to court. "I'm confident we're going to win" he said Thursday. "I've got cases all over the state, Jacksonville, everywhere- to show that this is a long recognized, valid way to do business. This is not gambling" Lewis said.
Some officials believe this could be the case that will determine the ruling for the rest of the state. The hearing is slated for July 19.