WRAL Investigates

Sweepstakes ban passes Senate committee

Posted June 17, 2010

— Legislation to ban so-called sweepstakes cafes in North Carolina passed a key committee Thursday morning and has gone to the full state Senate for a vote.

The games, which are sprouting up in strip malls and convenience stores across the state, sell players blocks of time to play games of chance on computers or cell phones. The odds are long, but players who win can get a cash payout.

The Senate is expected to vote on the ban proposal some time during this session. It would then have to be passed by the House of Representatives.

Sen Josh Stein, D-Wake, has said that he expects his colleagues will vote to outlaw the machines, but House Democrats can't find a consensus on the issue.

Opponents of the games, including some sheriffs and lawmakers, want them to be banned like video poker.

However, recent court rulings have determined that the businesses are legal. The gaming industry has proposed that it be regulated and taxed, and some municipal and county governments are taking zoning and taxation measures to control sweepstakes games.


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  • hambone21 Jun 18, 2010

    I say ban these machines.. Nothing but lies and deceptions. I was in one of these rooms last Friday (6/11/2010) I was told to go online and sign partitions to stop the ban... I refused; the truth to the matter is these parlors are hurting a lot of people.. I can’t stop playing. I have never played 1 or 2 hours on twenty dollars...I only play fifty cent….things done in the dark eventually comes to light...ban them

  • liveconnectquestions Jun 18, 2010

    The sweepstakes is not the problem. Nclifelonggirl is right Snugglebunny. Teach your tenants how to pay their bills--evict them. That way they learn that there are consequences for their delinquency. People need consequences--not deprivations if you want them to ever improve. Your rational is the same as saying that collecting rent money should be illegal since it is obvious some tenants are too irresponsible to pay.

  • liveconnectquestions Jun 18, 2010

    People with bad habits will not be cured if this is outlawed. The only was to teach responsibility is to let consequences for bad action teach it. The problem takes care of itself. If you are terrible about managing your money--you are not going to be able to pay your bills if this is outlawed. The sweepstakes is not the problem. You don't outlaw cars because bad drivers exist.

  • nclifelonggirl Jun 17, 2010

    ...If they are gonna ban sweepstakes because it's an addiction that people throw their life savings away for, then why do they sell alcohol in almost every store you go in? If they're gonna ban sweepstakes, then they need to ban all things that are addictive!! snugglebunny-you have tenants that don't pay rent-that's your fault, not the sweepstakes! You need to evict those people and find responsible adults. My husband manages a sweepstakes, and without his job, we won't be paying our rent either! They should tax them--then maybe I will get my raise that I haven't gotten for the last 2 years! I am a school bus driver, and us and the rest of the school employees are suffering because of the "state cutbacks", and taxing the sweepstakes may actually help us, as a whole, not to mention my family directly!! TAX THE SWEEPSTAKES!!! TAX THE SWEEPSTAKES!!!

  • gregg45 Jun 17, 2010

    i have 300$$ that i set aside,, saved , and worked for it,, a month,, so you , b4 i spell this word wrong,,you sanctimonious people who spends others $$$$$,, and , i do not get ss, or dss,i like to smoke , drink,, and gamble,, call me , what you want,, i , could care less , what you people do, unless u hurt my fam or friends,,

  • MajorLeagueinfidel Jun 17, 2010

    Oh lordy...thank you for saving us from ourselves again oh divine ones....without your guidance from above what would be come of us uneducated serfs.......

  • jeanpleasants Jun 17, 2010

    why is it that i am old enough and sane to vote for the politicians but not old enough or sane enough to know how to spend my money. Makes for a real heck of a double standard does't it?

  • wildcat Jun 17, 2010

    If you are going to cut out Sweepstakes, then all gambling should be cut. Some is talking out of one side of their mouth and something else spills out of the other.

  • grizzly0823 Jun 17, 2010

    I'm just curious why all the concern for the "poor and uneducated" folks that some people on here are trying to protect from gambling. Where is the outrage when school budgets are cut, teachers don't receive raises, positions are frozen, etc. Wouldn't preventing those problems help the "poor and uneducated" MUCH more than worrying about whether they spend a few bucks gambling?

    Cure the source of the problems [if it actually is a "problem" to be poor and uneducated], don't regulate the symptoms!!!

  • living the dream Jun 17, 2010

    "As the computers glow and simulated slots keep multiplying across North Carolina, the debate over how to HANDLE the so-called sweepstakes cafés continues to fracture."
    HANDLE is another way of saying TAXING.