The General Assembly enacted legislation earlier this year prohibiting the stores, finding them a form of gambling and setting Dec. 1 as a closing date for all existing gaming parlors. A superior court judge later ruled the internet sweepstakes stores legal under the constitution as it protects freedom of speech, according to Jerry Roy, owner of one electronic gaming store in Fuquay-Varina and others in Raleigh. Roy said, at the same time, the judge ruled that the state has the authority to regulate such games.
Still another ruling relative to the legality of the stores was expected earlier this week. Roy said he and other store owners were waiting for that ruling, and not expecting to have to close right away.
Customers at the stores pay a set fee for a certain amount of time on a computer at which they can play games and possibly win a cash prize.
Fuquay-Varina has three of the internet sweepstakes stores and several convenience stores that have installed a few computers where customers can play games in the hope of winning cash.