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Video Gambling Drawing Players to South Carolina

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DILLON, S.C. — With one exception out west at the Cherokee Indian Reservation, North Carolinadoesn't allow gambling. But to the north, there's the Virginia Lottery andto the south, there's video gaming. WRAL'sRick Gallshowshow one South Carolina casino is going the extra mile to draw players fromNorth Carolina.

With visions of winning, some people from Fayetteville boarded a bus atthe Holiday Inn Bourdeaux. The "Victory Lane Express" is a new Thursdaynight shuttle bound for South Carolina. Within an hour, the passengersbecome gamblers at the Hot Rods Casino in Dillon, S.C. Gamblers can trytheir luck at video keno, video poker or a hand of blackjack. Five peoplecan sit down around an electronic dealer.

Jon Ebel, a blackjack player, said it was very convenient.

The casino hopes to deal itself a full house by catering to NorthCarolinians. The shuttle service provides the ride, plus food and drinksfor $10.

Steve Herrington, a player, said he sets a limit and just has a good time.

Chico Labute, Hot Rods general manager, said people wanted somethingdifferent.

What's legal in Dillon is not just a thousand yards up the road, acrossthe border. More than three quarters of the people who gamble at HotRods are from North Carolina. Hot Rods hopes to strike it rich by luringmore and more of its northern neighbors.

Labute said he hopes to eventually run 20 shuttle buses a week out ofNorth Carolina.

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