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Bill Targets ‘Internet Sweepstakes Cafes’ In Pennsylvania

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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HARRISBURG (CBS) –  Legislation in the state House would shut down so-called “internet sweepstakes cafes” in Pennsylvania.

Chester County Republican Curt Schroder, chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, says he wants to nip the phenomenon in the bud. He says internet sweepstakes cafes currently operate under a perceived loophole in the state sweepstakes law that allows a place like McDonald’s to have contest promotions.

“What happens is, you go in and you buy a telephone card, and instead of making calls with it, you swipe it into the computer, into a terminal in the store where these are sold,” Schroder explains. “In essence you play slot games on a touch screen computer.”

Schroder says these virtual casino game cafes, one of which he personally saw in Monroeville, Allegheny County, will compete directly with the state’s real casinos. His committee Monday approved a bill that would shut them down in Pennsylvania.

Reported by Tony Romeo, KYW Newsradio 1060

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