The state of Georgia is set to start cracking down on operators of internet sweepstakes cafes, cafes which the state say allow players to gamble illegally.
Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal stated that Georgia officials are preparing to go after up to 100 internet cafes, many of which have opened up within the past 6 months. Officials claim the internet cafes are providing a way for citizens of Georgia to gamble, which is illegal in the southern state.
“Today we’re coming together to send a clear message to an illegal gaming industry and the concerned communities throughout the state of Georgia,” the Governor said during a press conference. “Our state law prohibits gambling. The code is black and white on that issue.”
It is believed that the internet sweepstakes cafes are doing big business. Reportedly, some of the cafes have more than 500 computers on which citizens can wager on. Vernon Keenan, Director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says that cafe operators move the profits they make out of state or even overseas.
Gambling is specifically illegal in Georgia. Currently the only form of wagering allowed is the state lottery, which was passed in the 1990's and funds education. Governor Deal believes the sweepstakes cafes are a risk to the lottery's fundraising.
"These new casino-like operations compete with the state lottery and risk driving down revenues," the Governor said.