SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) — California Attorney
General Kamala D. Harris has announced her office has filed a lawsuit against
Pong Marketing & Promotions Inc. for allegations of illegal gambling.
Harris filed the lawsuit in Solano County Superior Court and
will seek injunctive relief and roughly $10 million in penalties.
Pong, based out of Canada, provided software to sweepstakes
cafes in the state, according to Harris’ office. Sweepstakes cafes operate as
mini-casinos. They offer gambling-themed games on computer devices and target
low-income clientele. The California Supreme Court ruled these machines as
illegal gambling devices.
“When casinos are allowed to masquerade as cafes in our
neighborhoods, it both deceives consumers and undermines public safety,” Harris
said. “Software providers who misrepresent their games as lawful must be held
accountable for their role in facilitating criminal activity. I thank our law enforcement partners across
the state for their efforts to shut down these illegal gambling operations.”
A problem across the nation, Harris said, sweepstakes gambling enterprises
earn an estimated $10 billion a year. The attorney general began using the Unfair Competition
Law to combat these operators.
Harris’ office works with local law enforcement as part of the Sweepstakes Gambling Task Force.