COPY-Sumter sweepstakes cafe owner suing SLED - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

COPY-Sumter sweepstakes cafe owner suing SLED

By MEG KINNARD
Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The owner of an Internet sweepstakes cafe in Sumter has filed a federal lawsuit challenging authorities' right to raid his businesses.

Court records show Terry Eddie Land sued the State Law Enforcement Division and Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis last month.

Land says police violated his right to free speech when they seized his machines earlier this year.

The new machines look similar to ones outlawed by lawmakers 12 years ago, but supporters say the machines are different because the outcome is fixed.

Local judges across South Carolina have issued conflicting rulings over whether the sweepstakes machines violate the state prohibition on video gambling. Lawmakers have discussed banning the new machines, but legislation is still pending.

A SLED spokeswoman did not immediately return a message Wednesday.

Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP

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