Kendall James

Many jurisdictions throughout the country are cracking down on Internet cafes that offer online gambling. Many businesses in Kern County California argued that they were not violating online gambling laws by offering Internet sweepstakes. The Kern County District Attorney”s Office disagreed and filed a civil lawsuit against these businesses in 2012.

The court agreed with the district attorney’s office and stated that the businesses need to discontinue offering any form of online gambling, but three of the cafes appealed the ruling. They continued offering Internet sweepstakes while waiting for the appellate court to render its decision. The Fifth Appellate District Court upheld the original ruling on Monday. The district attorney’s office is in the process of shutting down the Internet cafes.

Deputy District Attorney Greg Pulskamp said that the office is currently serving cease-and-desist orders to the cafes. Approximately 25 Internet cafes are receiving the notices.

Pulskamp said that the county doesn’t intend to prosecute cafes that choose to respond to the notice and comply with the order. He said that the district attorney reserves his right to change its mind, but intends to be lenient on companies that willingly comply with the court ruling.

However, businesses currently offering Internet sweepstakes must begin complying with the orders immediately if they want to reduce the risk of prosecution. The notices state that companies must cease operating all online gambling services by March 21. The district attorney intends to conduct a thorough investigation of all cafes that continue to operate after that deadline.

The remedy may not be limited to the cafes. The district attorney is also investigating the software vendors to determine their culpability. However, there is probably a lower probability that the software company will be prosecuted.

Kendall James
Kendall James - Kendall has been covering the gaming industry for over 7 years. Kendall lives in San Francisco with his wife and black Labrador. Kendall often travels to Sacramento and Nevada to covers legislative hearings and iGaming conferences.