Final sweepstakes machines unplugged — for now
IRON DUFF — On Thursday, as hundreds of sweepstakes machines across the country remained dark and turned against the wall, there were two brightly lit exceptions still very much in operation. Sitting under a neon sign reading "Video Games" and topped with empty gas cans, these machines at Sam's Mart on Crabtree Road were thought to be loopholes around the ban that went into effect Jan. 3.
The company that makes the machines, J.M. Brown Amusement, had even installed new devices that company owners thought complied with the new regulations. For a short time at least, it seemed Sam Mart's could be on the cusp of innovation, ushering in a new era or least a new genre of gaming in Haywood County.
But the honeymoon didn't last long.
By the end of the day, the machines were gone, taken away after ...