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.