Legal loophole for sweepstakes?

Attorney Michael Benton

A Brownsville attorney is firing back amid claims a local charity was a front for illegal gambling.

Attorney Michael Benton claims the Cameron County District Attorney's didn TMt hit the jackpot with three gambling raids on Thursday.

Benton said the district attorney TMs office raided his client TMs business.

The KB Foundation of Texas had two out of three arcades raided in Port Isabel and on South Padre Island yesterday evening.

The raids were all of it as part of the district attorney TMs ongoing Operation Bishop to shut down illegal gambling in Cameron County.

But Benton said this time the district attorney TMs office got it all wrong.

"District Attorney Luis Saenz was on your news station yesterday. He commented there are organizations hiding behind charities posing as non-profits, Benton said. I want to make it very clear that the KB Foundation of Texas is a 404 charitable not for profit."

Benton claims 100 percent of the money brought in goes directly to the KB Foundation, a non-profit organization benefitting youth at risk.

The Brownsville attorney said the same situation happened in Midland-Odessa, Texas where police raided another non-profit organization.

Defense attorneys proved it was able to stay open due to its operating as a non-profit organization.

"They are alleging that we are an illegal sweepstakes and are engaged in illegal gambling and we've actually previously filed an intervention in the district court - in the 103rd district court - and we are actually scheduled to be heard on that this coming Tuesday," Benton said.

Benton says the KB Foundation of Texas "charitable sweepstakes" falls within the guidelines of Texas state law.

Claiming they are basically doing the same thing McDonalds' is doing with the scratch-offs, Benton said what the foundation does is completely legal.

"We are not engaged in gambling, Benton said. We are not an 8-liner operation and yes, we do give out cash prizes if their sweepstakes was a winner and yes, those are over $5 dollars sometimes."

The KB sweepstakes software adheres to Texas law which states, no purchase is necessary, the exact number of winner and prices are predetermined and the odds of winning are available.

KB engages in various charitable activities. Those benefiting include the Cameron County Juvenile Justice center and various Boys and Girls clubs across South Texas.

Benton said he is looking forward to the organization TMs day in court.

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