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Legal gambling on 25th Street

January 16, 2011 4:10 pm by

This internet cafe is legal gambling on 25th Street, though maybe not for long.

An Independent Weekly article on the phenomena describes how it works:

As census data and visits to the sweepstakes cafes show, these businesses are often located in neighborhoods where people have little to spend and a lot to lose. Ultimately, the house always wins.

Because of a skillful and deliberate parsing of the law, Internet gambling is legal, whereas its video machine counterpart is not. Players “buy time,” on the computers, and players win credits in the online sweepstakes that are then transferred back into cash. Unlike slot machines, prizes are paid to winners based on predetermined sweepstakes systems, not by chance. That’s the loophole.

Here at 1111 North 25th Street, $5 gets you 30 minutes of internet time (which is free across the street at the East End Library). You can also put some money on a card and get to gamblin’. There are at least 15 computers. The back is the smoking section. They are open M-SAT 10AM-midnight and noon-midnight on Sunday.


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