Local Politics

Governor signs ban on sweepstakes games

Posted July 20, 2010
Updated July 21, 2010

— Gov. Beverly Perdue on Tuesday signed into law a ban on so-called sweepstakes cafes, which sell customers blocks of Internet time to allow them to gamble online or on cell phones.

The General Assembly passed the law in the legislative session that ended July 10. The ban goes into effect Dec. 1.

Sweepstakes businesses have sprouted rapidly in strip shopping centers statewide in recent months after court decisions questioned whether the state's 2006 video poker ban applied to the computer-based games.

Entertainment Group of North Carolina, an association of vendors of coin-operated and sweepstakes machines, has said its members plan to look at a possible legal challenge to the ban and other ways to get around it.

Perdue said Wednesday that she would be open to legalizing the games again under certain conditions.

"I think, if you have video sweepstakes, whether it's video poker or video machines in general, we really do need to have some kind of concentrated, organized, unified system of regulation where they are under a set of standards, rules and regulations where we can be sure no one is profiteering from it," she said.

State lawmakers considered regulation. They even talked about letting the North Carolina Education Lottery take over the games as a way to raise revenue.

Perdue said as things stand now, the sweepstakes cafes are "uncontrollable."

Operators contend the ban will eliminate thousands of jobs during the bad economy by getting rid of a game that's only a form of entertainment, not gambling.

18 Comments

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  • phoenixdirecttech Jul 26, 10:45 a.m.

    The several other states that allow Internet Sweepstakes Cafes thanks North Carolina for passing up a near 1 billion dollar a year revenue. I am sure with 47 states (including NC) over budget and cutting education and health care the revenue is needed.
    Interested in Internet Sweepstakes Cafe ownership opportunities?

    http://www.phoenixdirecttech.com/blog.aspx

  • platinumproperty Jul 21, 6:42 p.m.

    Essentially, Perdue is making her argument to authorize a government-run monopoly aka The NC Education Lottery. A lottery that has already tested and has rights to software that is gearing up to offer customers the right to use "gaming sytems" similar to the big bad sweepstakes machines.

    Regardless of how I feel about gambling, what country do we live in where the government has restricted our rights as a democracy of free enterprise, making individual choices and ensuring that legitimate small businesses have a heavier burden to pay in the "pursuit of happiness" than our government run "corporations". I find it very interesting that the NC media has not highlighted the issues surrounding the majority of these lobbyist "sponsored" bills that are getting approved by our legislator and signed by our governor.

    Please read the following article to understand how corrupt our reprentatives are: http://www.montereyherald.com/ci_15490667?source=pkg

  • rixida Jul 21, 4:54 p.m.

    If your going to do away with one type of gambling then shouldnt you do away with all gambling?

  • mafiarevenge666 Jul 21, 3:49 p.m.

    put that witch out of a job and see how she likes it!! you too senators andwhoever else you are!! You sicken me!! You gonna pay my bills?? Duck no!!!

  • ttc248 Jul 21, 2:23 p.m.

    That was a foolish bill. If they vote that out, then the State Run Lottery should be done away with as well.

  • Sherlock Jul 21, 1:23 p.m.

    Money where is the money going...? Out the door.

  • alwaysconcernedmom Jul 21, 1:06 p.m.

    Amazing that in a former article about these places, it stated the state could regulate them and make 500 million a year! So she just gave away 500 million a year that would go to help pay for teachers, schools, paving roads, etc!

    This woman is NOT looking out for NC.

    I am with Barbarabu---VOTE HER OUT!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 6079 SMITH W Jul 21, 11:14 a.m.

    Money...it is the root of ALL evil........unless you know how to HANDLE it. ;)

  • Barbarabu Jul 21, 10:44 a.m.

    Vote her out Guys, Get rid of her, All Vote her out next year, Pay back sucks, She put you out of work, Get rid of her, She not for the people. She for herself. She wanted this out cause:
    LOW INCOME PEOPLE WERE COMING IN TO THESE PLACES AND SPENDING ALL THEIR MONEY. WELL "SWEETHEART" YOU JUST CAUSE 10.000 MORE TO NEED AFDC, FOOD STAMPS,, FREE HOUSING, SO I GUESS IT WAS WORTH IT .. WELL YOU GOT IT MISSY. NOW WHAT YOU GONNA DO. HA HA SHAME ON YOU, ILL THROW FLOWERS WHEN YOU GET VOTED OUT NEXT TERM. GUESS I GOT TO GET THE DATES AND STUFF SO I CAN BE THERE AND LAY MY FLOWERS ON THE GRAVE OF YOUR TERM IN OFFICE, LOL

  • Tax Man Jul 21, 9:32 a.m.

    So bev, you just increased the state unemployment by a big amount! Hope you have lots of $$$ to pay them. Why didn't you veto this bill, send it back to the GA and tell them to allow this, tax and regulate it? Would have made you tons of money - but now it will just drain the state treasury. Hope all the stores sue you and drag this on for a very long, expensive court battle. How can you take a legal business and make it illegal without grandfathering the existing lawfully run businesses? Seems like a government "taking" that requires payment from the government for the fair market value of the businesses they legislatively closed. The owners of these businesses deserve fair compensation for the theft of their businesses. Typical NC legislature - always hurt the little guys so they cannot compete against the state. Elections are coming - time for a change....

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