CBS San Francisco: California Supreme Court Rules Online ‘Sweepstakes’ Gambling Illegal

News | June 26th, 2015

While most of the legal attention is focused in on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, the State Supreme Court has ruled that online “sweepstakes” gambling is illegal in California.

The ruling helps San Francisco’s ongoing legal effort to stop gambling at Internet Cafes. The city has been trying to extinguish the establishments in the Excelsior for at least two years ever since neighbors complained that they were attracting a bad element.

“There’s a dramatic increase in criminal activity including stabbings, robberies, stolen cars,” said deputy City Attorney Victoria Weatherford referring to the outlying neighborhood.

She says San Francisco closed down one Internet café, but is still is after another not covered by this court ruling because it operates as a private speakeasy, not a public internet cafe.

Weatherford applauds the State Supreme Court decision as does Chris Moyer of the American Gaming Association, a trade group that represents licensed casinos.

“It’s a win for people in California that [these places] have been deemed illegal.

The court ruled in a case from Kern County that computerized sweepstakes games violate state gambling laws.

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