Triple Crown Sweepstakes Re-Opens, Minus State Approval
ST. CLOUD - Triple Crown Sweepstakes in St. Cloud is back open, despite the fact they haven't been given the green light from state or county authorities.
Back on August 9th the state's Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division raided the business, and confiscated their machines. The state said at the time they were illegal gambling devices, similar to video slot machines.
Triple Crown Sweepstakes owner Steve Ehlen says he made the decision to go out and buy new machines, and open his doors today (Thursday), because no charges have ever been filed against him. Triple Crown Sweepstakes unsuccessfully tried to convince a Stearns County judge to order the return of their property and cash in September.
Ehlen says there has been no charges, because "no crime has been committed".
Ehlen says he feels "the state way over reacted", after receiving a citizen complaint. He says he's not afraid the state will come in and shut him down again. He claims he's lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the four months that he's been shut down.
Ehlen's position has been that his business is a sweepstakes, not gambling. And, therefore he's not breaking the law. He says he doesn't require anyone to buy anything up front to play the machines.