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Thursday, April 2, 2020

Rowan County Sheriff plans to shut down fish arcades

Regulation

By Angela Watson | Feb 2, 2020

Rowansheriff
The Rowan County Sheriff's Department is eyeing fish arcades. | rowancountync.gov

Some area fish arcades are still up and running despite a letter from the Rowan County Sheriff’s office to cease operations by Jan. 20.

Fish arcades are essentially arcade establishments where players can win money, and are so named because some of the video games require players to shoot at fish. Video poker machines are banned in North Carolina, and operators of fish arcades argue that their businesses are legal because it takes skill, not luck, to win money.

Rowan County has seen a relatively rapid increase in the number of fish arcades during the past two years.

Sheriff Kevin Auten sent more than two dozen letters to operators of fish arcades after receiving complaints from other law enforcement agencies, citizens and municipal planning and zoning bodies. 

Auten looked to Cabarrus County where fish arcades have already been the target of law enforcement and government officials after a string of crimes were reported. They looked at ways to regulate the sweepstakes businesses and utilized provisions under North Carolina General Statute 14-306.4.

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