Conviction upheld under NC video sweepstakes ban
Posted April 17, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — The state Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear an appeal by two people arrested two years ago for violating North Carolina's ban on video sweepstakes machines.
Attorney General Roy Cooper said the case was the first sweepstakes-related conviction to make it to the Supreme Court, and the justices' decision to leave the Court of Appeals ruling intact means the state ban on the game remains the law of the land.
The case stemmed from the April 2013 arrests of Richard Conoley Chapman and Kawana Spruill, the owner and manager, respectively, of a Tabor City business where people could play sweepstakes games.
State lawmakers banned such games in 2010, and the Supreme Court upheld the ban two years later. Still, game makers adjusted their software, arguing that revealing prizes upfront and allowing people to then play games was legal under state law. Some local district attorneys cracked down on sweepstakes parlors, while others waited for the courts to clarify what was legal and what wasn't.
“We’ve seen time and again that video gambling leads to corruption and crime, and that’s why I’ve long stood with law enforcement against it," Cooper said in a statement. "Today’s action by the court makes it clear that North Carolina officers and prosecutors have authority to go after illegal gambling operations in their communities.”