Pennsylvanian Internet Gambling Cafes Must Close

This story was published more than 11 years ago.

Mercer County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Robert G. Kochems has warned the cyber sweepstakes cafes within his jurisdiction that they must close by October 22nd if they wish to remain compliant with state law.

Kochems wrote a letter to various sweepstake cafe owners that: “I will direct law enforcement authorities to begin prosecuting violations of the law beginning October 22. This gives you time to give notice to your employees and to see if a new stay of the law is agreed to.”

Active in the Keystone state for roughly a year, internet sweepstakes cafes offer internet games of chance for real money prizes. Operators of the cafes sell customers phone cards which then allow them to play the games which pay from a sweepstakes pool.

The cafes were effectively banned on June 30th, when Governor Tom Corbett signed a law that closed loopholes that allowed the businesses to operate. A recent motion for a restraining order and preliminary injunction against the law filed by a cafe owner in Luzerne County was denied by U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania's Judge Robert D. Mariani.