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Sweepstakes Machines Legal Again

Updated: Monday, April 22 2013, 10:51 PM EDT
Sweepstakes machines are back in business at one convenience store in Macon County.  But the news isn't welcome by everyone.  "I think they should get rid of every one of them," said Christy Mace.

But Mace will have to get used to it because a judge recently found the machines' owner, Mark Berry, not guilty of operating the devices.  "We felt like all along that we were within the confines of the law," said Berry.  He was busted on four misdemeanors after the state Supreme Court ruled similar machines illegal last December.  "Well, we're just back to business as usual." 

And that doesn't sit well with Mace.  "They need to get another judge in there and get somebody else's opinion on it," she said.

So, here's what makes Berry's video gambling machines legal: everyone who plays wins a product out of an internet catolog.  "You get a benefit whether you win or lose in the sweepstakes," said Berry's lawyer, George Hyler.

Hyler told News 13's Mario Boone that is the key distinction from gaming machines where winning isn't guaranteed.  He also said the not guilty ruling could affect video gambling machines statewide.  "Once we get that definitive decision from a Superior Court level or above, then that will be controlling across the state."

By: Mario Boone,
Follow on Twitter: @mariobooneSweepstakes Machines Legal Again

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