Renewed calls for changes after 1 shot during robbery at Raleigh sweepstakes parlor

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – There are renewed calls for changes at sweepstakes parlors after the most recent case of violence at a business in the Triangle.

Raleigh police said four men shot a security guard as part of a robbery early Tuesday morning at Good Times Sweeps, off Atlantic Springs Road. The security guard is expected to recover, but police described a chaotic scene with cash strewn all over the floor of the business.

Tuesday evening, workers at nearby businesses shared concerns about safety.

“Watching who’s coming in, who’s coming out,” said Julian Abreu, an employee at nearby Dominican Straight Razor Cutz and president of the Dominican Association of Raleigh. “It’s scary, the people are scared, the customer is scared.”

It’s far from the first case of violence at a Triangle sweepstakes parlor where customers play video games with a chance to win cash prizes.

Last month, police said a “dispute” at another establishment several miles away led to gunfire and a chase in Raleigh.

And one sheriff west of the Triangle recently closed dozens of sweepstakes businesses after a year-long investigation, citing concerns over illegal activity.

For years, CBS 17 has reported on concerns surrounding these businesses, and the push for changes.

Eddie Caldwell, executive vice president and general counsel of the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, said the crimes are “pervasive” throughout the state.

“Robberies, prostitution, money laundering, other type of criminal activity,” he said.

Caldwell explained that despite some changes by the North Carolina General Assembly, and a recent push for tougher regulations at these facilities, crimes still occur.

“Some improvements have been made in the law over the years, but it just continues to be a problem,” Caldwell said, noting the challenges facing lawmakers.

“It’s a very fine line between getting rid of the bad video sweepstakes operators and getting rid of things there’s not really a public safety issue with,” he said, but added, “It’s the position of the sheriffs that they ought to be outlawed and shut down completely.”

The manager at Good Times sweeps declined comment to CBS 17 Tuesday following the robbery.

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