Sweepstakes

Despite a state Supreme Court ruling upholding a ban on the games, sweepstakes machines continue to operate across the state. Lawmakers must decide if and how to regulate them. STATUS: A bipartisan group of House members has filed a measure to legalize and tax the games. However, the Senate Rules Chairman says there is "no appetite" for legalization bill in his chamber.


The state Supreme Court has upheld North Carolina's ban on games that use "entertaining displays" to reveal sweepstakes prizes. Sweepstakes makers have already deployed new games that they say meets the letter, if not the spirit, of the state law.

Lawmakers will have to decide whether to do nothing, which would leave sweepstakes operators in a legal gray area and allow potential tax revenue to pass uncollected, or to take action regarding the machines. Possibilities include another attempt to outlaw sweepstakes or the imposition of a tax and regulatory scheme that would fully bring the industry under the color of law.

Bills and status:

A bipartisan group of House members has filed a measure to legalize and tax the games. However, the Senate Rules Chairman says there is "no appetite" for legalization bill in his chamber.

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