State News

Appeals court backs N.C. video poker ban

Posted December 22, 2009

— The North Carolina Court of Appeals has overturned a lower court ruling that could have again allowed video poker machines to operate statewide.

The ruling Tuesday by the state Court of Appeals supports an agreement that gives the state's Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the sole right to operate gambling games on tribal land. The Cherokees operate a casino on their reservation that employs hundreds of people and provides each tribal member with thousands of dollars of income per year.

Superior Court Judge Howard Manning ruled in February that a video poker law approved by the General Assembly in 2006 violated federal law excluding the tribe's casino from a state ban.

The state law was passed in reaction to real and perceived corruption linked to video poker operators.

Representatives of the video poker industry said in a statement that they would continue fighting to again legalize the games in North Carolina.

"We are going to keep plowing the field," the statement said. "The public supports a regulated video gaming industry because they understand people are playing the games and a failure to tax video gaming is leaving millions of dollars on the table."

Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight praised the appellate court ruling.

"We worked for so long to try to rid our state of this awful industry. I am very pleased that the Court of Appeals decision will uphold the ban passed by the General Assembly," Basnight said in a statement.


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  • chfdcpt Dec 23, 2009

    We must turn the "Way Back" machine to Jim Hunt's 3rd and 4th terms. When the Cherokees announced that they were opening a casino, Hunt went after them to tax them. Too bad he did not know that the Cherokee Reservation is a nation, and as such, state law does not apply. Only Tribal law and federal laws apply at the reservations.

    And that was just one of the many "I Want To Tax You" schemes that Jim Hunt lost at the federal courts level.

    A few years after that, the Sheriff's Commission talked the legislature into allowing the machines, and the Sheriff's would use fees to run the licensing program. After they found out that they were not going to make the "millions" that they expected, they asked the legislature to ban them outright.

  • SWEET-N-SOUR Dec 22, 2009

    If the state government could figure out a way to tax the video poker games, they would be legal. I have actually worked and played at a place that did have pay outs and you win more money than the scratch cards..

  • wvgal0712 Dec 22, 2009

    What about the internet cafe locations? They seem to be opening up everywhere

  • concerncitizen Dec 22, 2009

    So what! The Governor doesn't have to obey the laws. Why should video pork machine owners?

  • htomc42 Dec 22, 2009

    I sleep so much better at night knowing that these benighted elites know so much better how to spend my money and run my life, than I do.

  • corey3rd Dec 22, 2009

    you can play scratch n win Poker

  • PeterG Dec 22, 2009

    What was good for the Cowboys was never good for the Indians. But that's another story...

  • living the dream Dec 22, 2009

    What's good for the Indian's should be good for the Cowboys.
    Fair is fair....

  • homebrewer Dec 22, 2009

    Glad the state is able to regulate what non threatening, personal activities I can enjoy. At least I can play video poker on my iPhone while driving since its not TEXTing.

  • Tolip Dec 22, 2009

    and now, some MORE DEFICIT SPENDING by da Gov and her loyasists! WhoooHooooo!