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Judge Makes Initial Ruling in Sweepstakes Café Suit

Jun 26 | 2012  by

Are internet cafes operating as illegal gambling operations? That very well may be the case.

These business establishments are popping up in every Michigan community.  A Google search turns up 2,000,000 results for “internet café Michigan”.  Customers purchase internet time to play and the shop pays cash for the “winnings”. 

Attorney General Bill Schuette has answered that these cafes are gaming.

Flint Business Center is an internet cafe that sells internet access and long-distance phone cards.  With each purchase, the customer receives free sweepstakes entries to play casino-style computer games for cash prizes.  Schuette has sent cease and desist letters to a dozen of these internet sweepstakes cafes.

After receiving the cease and desist order, Flint Business Center sought a preliminary injunction allowing them to stay in operation.  The cafe argued that the games aren’t illegal gambling activities, but more similar to a McDonald’s Monopoly sweepstakes. 

The Genesee County Circuit Court didn’t buy it and denied the cafe’s request.  This may be the first state court decision on this issue.

If you have questions on legal issues, contact Mark Mandell from Fausone Bohn, LLP at (248) 380-0000.

The Flint Business Center has shut its doors rather than face potential prosecution. To learn more information about the original article, please visit MLive.com.