If you’ve never heard of an “Internet Sweepstakes Cafe,” or whatever other description the owners use, it’s basically a place where customers purchase pre-paid “phone cards” that they then use to buy time on a computer to play in various “sweepstakes” for which they can possibly win cash. How is this now gambling? Well, that’s the the question that the Pennsylvania state legislature is asking.
Yesterday, lawmakers in the Keystone State voted unanimously to shut down these operations, even as more legitimate casinos are popping up across the commonwealth.
The bill’s author tells KDKA-TV that the state is trying to nip these cafes in the bud before it ends up like Florida, where more than 1,000 of these somehow-not-a-casino operations are in business: “So our approach was here to kind of nip it in the bud – just stop it before it grows into a huge animal.”
The bill must be approved by the state senate before the governor can sign off on it.