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Letters: Illegal Internet Sweepstakes In Pamlico County
Reader Asks Why An "Illegal" Business Exists
December 14, 2016

Is an “Illegal Internet Sweepstakes” business allowed to operate in Pamlco County? A reader writes in wondering why:

To the Editor:

“Illegal internet sweepstakes business robbed in Pamlico County” the title of a short report from WITN. It was an armed robbery that occurred on this past Saturday night in a Hardison Square building on Hwy 55 in Alliance. There’s an overhead photo of the area included in the report. It’s the building next to Hardison’s Tire Service that houses an accounting, a chiropractic, and a day care business. The now “illegal internet sweepstakes” operation was originally set up where the day care business now operates. After numerous complaints about parking, loitering, cigarette butts and smoke the county finally shut down their operation. It’s illegality didn’t seem to be an issue because law enforcement has known of its existence since such operations were banned by the state a few years ago.

This outfit simply moved to another part of the same building, took on a speak-easy persona and got back into business. Everyone working or living in the neighborhood knows this.

The “illegal internet sweepstakes business” still pays rent to the same building owner, so he knows this. According to the TV report the Sheriff’s Office even knows this. The operation was obviously okay with calling the Sheriff’s Office to report the robbery. I have friends and loved ones who work in that building. This brazen armed robbery occurred late at night but the next one may not and this is the sort of crime that is spawned by an “illegal internet sweepstakes” operation.

I and others would really like to know WHY this operation is still in business even though everyone KNOWS it’s there and WHO is complicit in allowing it to exist with impunity. Maybe WITN should look into this a little further before some innocent child or business operator gets hurt.

Patrick Del Rio
Oriental, NC
December 14, 2016

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