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Oasis Sweepstakes Closed Down By Authorities Because of Slot Machines

As of July 2, 2007, the Oasis Sweepstakes was open for business for the past month until the Bay County Sheriff's Department closed them down that afternoon. Channel 7 News Producer, Mariane Hora, said that the Oasis Sweepstakes venue markets free sweepstakes video games with the sale of phone card minutes.

Hora said that they give the customers a card. What the customer must do is take the card and go to a machine where they can swipe it and decide how much cash they want to put on it. For those that win at the electronic slot machines, print receipts can be turned into cash.

Hora said that if you lose everything, the way that the owner explains it, it's still a good situation for both sides. Even if the customers do not win any money, they will still have $10 on their phone cards which they can choose whether or not to use.

Oasis Owner, Michael Upchurch, said that it is not right that the establishment was closed down. He says that their business operation supports the Just For Kids Wish Network. He also said that the organization has operations all over the state of Florida and it is something that adults can also do, instead of just going to pubs. Upchurch said that it is a non-alcoholic venture.

Adults can come in to enjoy themselves and help the foundation out at the same time. Upchurch said that the charity receives 50% of the profits. Upchurch receives 10% of the profits and the phone card company receives the remaining 40% of the profits.

However, the investigators from the sheriff's department said that the phone cards are not the problem, it's the slot machines that are not allowed. Upchurch defends the legality of his location.

He says that the venue is registered under Florida Agriculture. It also follows the existing rules and it is a FCKC Corporation that gets checked properly. The Oasis Sweepstakes will remain closed until further notice.


Wednesday, 01 August 2007
Marissa Patterson