Permit issued, but sweepstakes business waits
Feb 25, 2013 (The Wilson Daily Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Wilson Board of Adjustment issued a special use permit to the owner of an Internet sweepstakes business that used to be open on Raleigh Road Parkway.
The board, at the direction of the city attorney, decided to issue the permit as long as the business owner complies with zoning rules set for Internet sweepstakes businesses, said Slade Rand, attorney for the board.
Questions have been raised about the permitting process due to a N.C. Supreme Court ruling in December that upheld a 2010 ban on sweepstakes businesses. Many Internet sweepstakes businesses have installed new software they claim complies with state law. The software has led some of the businesses to remain open.
Kamlesh Patel, the owner of Cyberlinks Internet Cafe Sweepstakes, requested the special use permit after closing his business at 504 Raleigh Road Parkway late last year. Cyberlinks was one of several businesses allowed to remain open in the city until the end of 2012, at which time they were required to close or move into a heavy industrial district, an I-2 zone.
Patel told the board that his business complied with the city's rules at the end of the year. He was granted a two-year special use permit to operate an Internet sweepstakes business at 6631 Ward Boulevard, near U.S. 301.
Patel said he is uncertain about opening the business, due to the Supreme Court decision. He plans to talk with Wilson police to determine if he can legally open his business in the city. Patel, like other Internet sweepstakes owners, is concerned about investing in a new location and paying an annual city business fee of $2,000 and $2,500 for each computer only to face a forced closure.
The owner of Fish the Net Sweepstakes, which has also been issued a special use permit in an I-2 zone, is waiting for the same reasons.
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