M’boro business wants to extend hours

Published 11:40 am Monday, May 15, 2017

MURFREESBORO – The owner of the only sweepstakes parlor within the town limits of Murfreesboro went before the Town Council on May 10 to request extending the business’s hours of operation.

Michael Carol, owner of 158 Sweeps, asked the Council to consider letting him extend his business hours and possibly allow the business to operate on Sundays as well. The current hours are from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

158 Sweeps is located on Main Street in the same shopping center as the recently closed Just Save grocery store.

Carol assured the Council that he would be implementing more safety measures, including adding additional outside lighting and a door buzzer, to ensure that patrons would be safe if they chose to come later at night.

He told the Council he’d be satisfied with any extra hours he could get, and suggested extending until at least 2 a.m. during the week and perhaps opening up at 1 p.m. on Sundays.

Councilman Bill Theodorakis asked why he wanted additional hours. Carol answered that it would give more opportunity to potential customers who worked later hours.

Mayor Pro-Tem Sarah Wallace stated that she was opposed to the business operating on Sundays.

The Council asked Police Chief Darrell Rowe his input on how safe the business would be with additional open hours. He said there’s always a risk of more crime the longer a business stays open. He couldn’t say whether the sweepstakes business would be more susceptible to break-ins or not.

Because the town ordinance concerning the sweepstakes business would have to be rewritten to change the hours, the Council suggested Carol go before the Planning Board with his request. Once they have a recommendation from that Board, a public hearing will be held to consider the extension.

Despite efforts to shut down the internet sweepstakes industry by the government of North Carolina, these businesses continue to operate while lawsuits are still tied up in the court system. Many businesses have modified their gaming systems to comply with the current laws.