Order allows 1 TC sweepstakes business to open

UPDATE: Internet gaming is gone, again, in TC
By DEUCE NIVEN
 
   Internet sweepstakes gaming was gone, again, in Tabor City on Tuesday, a day after a Davidson County judge dismissed a lawsuit and Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) that had allowed the Internet Business Center to re-open.
    Armed with the TRO from the Davidson County case, the Internet Business Center was open last Wednesday, the only one of four similar Tabor City businesses using software supplied by ITT (International Internet Technologies, LLC).
    Doors were locked and the parking lot was empty at the Internet Business Center on Tuesday. Police Chief Donald Dowless said he had not yet been notified of the Davidson County ruling.
    “I guess they’ve got the word,” Dowless said of the Internet Business Center.
    Enforcement had begun Jan. 3 on a state law prohibiting internet gaming businesses, shutting down four establishments in Tabor City. Police Chief Donald Dowless said his officers would not attempt enforcement of state law at the Internet Business Center as long as the Davidson County TRO was in place.
    Superior Court Judge Robert Johnson dissolved the TRO on Monday, and dismissed a lawsuit filed by ITT and Hickory Tree Business Center.
    Hickory Tree’s owner, B & J Daniels, Inc., was charged last month with violating the state’s sweepstakes machine ban, which was upheld by the N.C. Supreme Court in December, The Winston-Salem Journal reported.
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     Original story, Feb. 1

     One Internet sweepstakes operation is back in business here, at least for now, operating under a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued in a Davidson County case this week, Town Manager Al Leonard said.
    What that means for similar businesses, shut down Jan. 3 as prosecutors said they would begin enforcing a statewide ban on Internet gambling, was not clear this week.
    Superior Court Judge Robert Johnson signed the TRO Monday, prohibiting law enforcement from bringing charges against Internet gaming businesses using software supplied by ITT (International Internet Technologies, LLC), at least until a hearing on the merits of the case and an extension of the injunction can be held. That is to be heard Monday, the order said.
    ITT and Hickory Tree Business Center are the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit seeking a permanent exemption for the software, with Gov. Pat McCrory, Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety Kiernan Shanahan, and Davidson County Sheriff David S. Grice the defendants.
    Internet Business Center in Tabor City uses the ITT software, and its representatives presented a copy of the TRO to town officials on Wednesday, Leonard said. The business opened that night.
    For more on this story see the Feb. 6 Tabor-Loris Tribune print edition.

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