City authorities are the latest to raise issues over the new, so-called “sweepstakes” cafes. The police chief points
out the businesses are on his radar, and at the very least one City Council member wants a good, difficult check out of them.
“The problem along with some of the Internet cafes is that they’re bringing in a criminal factor,” Councilman Russell Johnson claimed. He represents Ward 7, which includes the place of the I-Sweeps Cafe on Hughes Lane.
That’s where Eyewitness News looked into grievances last week from other businesses-owners in the shopping center. They point out there have been more fights in the parking area, drug-use, as well as prostitution considering that the cafe established last summer season.
Bakersfield Police Chief Greg Williamson has actually heard the same.
“We’ve had some issues, specifically from the one on Hughes Lane,” Williamson said Thursday on Eyewitness News Mornings. “We’ve been examining these Internet cafes for most likely about a year and a half.”.
He stated the BPD is paying more attention to the websites.
Last summer the Kern County District Attorney’s office started their investigation. By July, they would certainly declared civil lawsuits versus nine cafes, and neighborhood courts had ordered them to stop any of the sweepstakes elements of their companies. The D.A.’s office has said they believe the games are unlawful gambling.
Principal Williamson shares that view, and he’s been speaking to the D.A.’s office. “I’ve additionally called and talked with our U.S. Attorney in our area in regard to this,” Williamson said. “There’s issue not just in California, but around the country in regard to this sort of operation.”.
The cafes state they provide services like making duplicates and sending out faxes, and the sweepstakes are simply a marketing promo. Consumers playing the Internet games generally purchase things like pre-paid phone cards or spend for Internet access.
Yet various other companies complain the cafes attract adverse and criminal habits. The neighboring shop-owners claim there’s been more hooliganism and various other problems since the cafes opened. “It’s actually impacting their business,” Johnson said. “The variety of repairs they need to repair,” he states as an instance. And, some grumble it terrifies their customers away.
The councilman claims he’ll take his concerns and concerns to following Friday’s meeting of the “Safe Neighborhoods” committee.
“We, as a city, should go– ‘Hey, what can we do to cope with this problem?’” Johnson states. He wants to have a better understanding of what’s occurring, and just what the city’s options could be. He asks yourself if there could be a resolution or an ordinance.
The Safe Neighborhoods committee will certainly comply with on April 5 at City Hall North. The conference will certainly start at midday, according the city authorities.
At the same time, the police chief states he’s also looking at choices. As a law officer, he’s hanging around to see the outcome of the civil cases filed by the D.A.’s office.
“Several (of the cafe-owners) got together and that’s now tied up in the Appellate Court,” Chief Williamson claimed. “We’re awaiting that decision to establish if we can criminally prosecute or shut down these sweepstakes cafes in the future.”.
Powered by Facebook Comments