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California court says ‘sweepstakes’ games are illegal

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS
    FILE - In this June 5, 2014, file photo, Khue Vang, left, is questioned by a Sacramento County deputy sheriff during a code enforcement raid on the Silk and Stars in Sacramento, Calif. The operators of the Silk and Stars say they provide patrons with computers and Internet access, including computerized versions of what they call "sweepstakes games." But law enforcement considers it to be illegal gambling. California's Supreme Court is set to decide Thursday whether computerized "sweepstakes" games found inside Internet cafes are illegal slot machines. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
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SAN FRANCISCO >> California’s Supreme Court says computerized “sweepstakes” found at Internet cafes are illegal slot machines.

In a unanimous ruling Thursday, the court rejected the businesses’ argument that the sweepstakes are different from slot machines because they have predetermined outcomes.

The court said the sweepstakes are still games of chance because customers have no way to influence the outcome, which is unpredictable to them.

The case the court considered involved several Internet cafes in Kern County that local prosecutors sought to stop from offering sweepstakes games.

Calls to attorneys for the cafe owners were not immediately returned.

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