WHITEVILLE, N.C. – a Dublin councilman arrested on last week for illegal operation of video gaming café north of Whiteville argued the machines were legal under the state’s law.
The Columbus County Sheriff’s Office reported that detectives executed a search warrant at Gold Rush Internet Café along Highway 701 in Whiteville owned by Jeffrey Scott Smith, a councilman of Dublin.
According to Smith, the machines were legal because winnings were pre-revealed to customers before the game.
“Those same games are running in over 40 counties in the state of North Carolina. There are other district attorneys and sheriff’s departments that agree that our software is compliant,” said Smith.
On the other hand, District Attorney Jon David told the State Supreme Court already upheld the statute which made video gambling machines illegal in North Carolina.
Atty. Alan Maynard, Smith’s lawyer, contested that the court’s decision, however, does not outlaw the machines used in Gold Rush.
David responded by taking the case to the superior court.
“By bringing this matter directly into superior court, we’re going to expedite things and give the community a chance to weigh in on what justice should be. And I would think that any defendant should embrace that opportunity because a jury is the ultimate safeguard for any criminal defense,” David told.
Capt. David Nobles of the Columbus County Sheriff’s Officer declared 68 hard drives from computers and $5,800 cash were confiscated from Gold Rush.
The councilman was arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor for operating video gaming machines in Gold Rush. He was released, however, with $1,000 secured bond.
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