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NM high court to hear Internet cafe gambling case

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case about a Las Cruces man accused of running a gambling enterprise out of his Internet cafe.

The state’s high court is slated Monday to hear arguments in the case involving businessman Michael T. Vento.

Last year, a state Court of Appeals overturned Vento’s conviction of commercial gambling, a fourth-degree felony. Vento lost his business in July 2008 after the state Gaming Control Board raided it and seized his 21 computer terminals.

Gov. Susana Martinez, a district attorney when Vento was operating his Las Cruces cafe, prosecuted him for commercial gambling.

But the 64-year-old Vento says he only provided his customers a chance to win sweepstakes prizes.

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