Claremont OKs sweepstakes parlors

Sweepstakes parlor owners will have to pay the price if they want to open a new gaming center in Claremont.

City officials agreed Monday to permit the internet gaming, or sweepstakes, parlors within the city’s highway business district, but only at a cost.

As part of a fee schedule similar to those of nearby cities, Claremont will charge new gaming parlors $2,500 per establishment and $1,000 per gaming machine to operate. Those are annual fees, said Claremont City Manager Doug Barrick.

“We looked at surrounding cities and tried to word the ordinance identical to Hickory, Conover or Maiden,” Barrick said. “About 99 percent of the ordinance is fairly the same across the county.”

To read more of this story, pick up the Thursday print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.