Internet Cafe Raids in California

In two raids in Modesto, California, police have arrested 12 people confiscating 63 computers, $8,000 in cash, and documentary evidence of illegal 'sweepstakes' style online gambling.

Those two internet business were Andthen (.com) and LinkNet, which had advertised their services as an Internet cafe and a computer services company, but according to Sgt. Ivan Valencia neither business was offering the advertised services - instead they were allowing people to gamble at all hours.

On the other end of the country, in South Carolina, enforcement officials in Spartanburg have arrested a former 5th Circuit Solicitor’s Office investigator and onetime Kershaw County sheriff candidate, 37-year-old L.W. Flynn.

Flynn, who ventured into building and providing 'sweepstakes' style internet gambling machines, was detained but later released on bail after being found in possession of 'Magic Minutes' machines, an offence under new and more stringent state laws.

Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Ivey said Flynn has publicly asserted the machines’ legality, claiming state law allows what are called sweepstakes games.

Magic Minutes machines have been ruled illegal gambling devices in several counties across the state, but have also won approval in other court hearings, creating a confusing legal situation. However, under state law, each machine seized must be judged individually by a magistrate to be legal or illegal.

Also under state law, a person convicted of possession of an illegal gambling machine could be sentenced to up to a year in prison and $500 in fines for each machine seized.

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