Perdue Signs Gambling Ban Bill
Special Report - July 22, 2010
On July 19, despite threats of a possible lawsuit from the video gambling industry, Governor Beverly Perdue signed the sweepstakes gambling ban into law with no public ceremony. HB 80-Ban Electronic Sweepstakes, which goes into effect December 1, 2010, prohibits conducting or promoting sweepstakes activities that involve gambling. The bill was prompted by a proliferation of sweepstakes cafes and parlors across North Carolina that have essentially set up video poker casinos that require players to purchase phone or Internet time in order to gain access to the games of chance. HB 80 passed overwhelmingly in the Senate on June 21 by a vote of 47 to 1, and in the House by a vote of 86 to 27 on July 7.
Last week, in a desperate effort to stop the ban from becoming law, Entertainment Group of North Carolina, an association of video gambling distributors in the state, urged the governor to veto HB 80 in a letter. The letter, which was written by the group’s president, noted that the ban would put thousands of sweepstake gambling café employees out of work, and argued that the State should instead regulate and profit from sweepstakes gambling. The group has also threatened to file a lawsuit challenging the ban.
In a related story, the News and Observer column “Under the Dome” reported yesterday that Governor Perdue was keeping the door open to the idea of legalizing and taxing video and internet gambling in North Carolina.
House Passes Video Gambling Ban - July 8, 2010
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