Davidson County judge tosses lawsuit in sweepstakes case

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 5, 2013

LEXINGTON (AP) — A Davidson County judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday which sought to keep authorities in North Carolina from enforcing a ban on Internet sweepstakes businesses,
The Dispatch of Lexington reports Superior Court Judge Robert Johnson allowed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed last week by two sweepstakes stakeholders in Davidson County.
International Internet Technologies and a local business owner were seeking a preliminary injunction, enjoining authorities from enforcing a sweepstakes ban until a judge could make a ruling about the company’s new software.
The state argued a recent decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court to uphold the sweepstakes ban already decided the matter.
Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president and general counsel to the N.C. Sheriff’s Association, said the association was pleased that the judgment dismissed the lawsuit in its entirety.
“Any law enforcement agency with jurisdiction will be able to enforce the law as the General Assembly wanted them to,” Caldwell said. “Judge Johnson has recommended that the General Assembly and the Supreme Court meant exactly what they said.”
Attorneys for the plaintiffs left the courtroom without commenting on the decision.
A turning point in the hearing came from Jerry Kontos, an assistant city attorney for Winston-Salem. Kontos testified that the IIT system demonstrated at the hearing was not the same as what he had seen the company use in Forsyth County.
Kontos said between Jan. 17 and Jan. 23, he visited a business that used IIT software that used a display that was similar to that of a slot machine. The slot machine format was static until the “reveal” button is clicked, Kontos said. Then, it reels and comes to a stop, he said.