Governor Keeps Gambling Option
Special Report - July 28, 2010
Within days of signing bills to ban video sweepstakes gambling and to increase accountability and ethics restrictions within the North Carolina’s ABC system, Governor Beverly Perdue commented that she would be open to legalizing sweepstakes games and privatizing the liquor industry in North Carolina. While the ban on electronic sweepstakes (SL 2010-103) was signed without a public ceremony on July 19, the bill tightening ethics regulations and local ABC boards’ accountability to the state ABC commission (SL 2010-122) was signed at a public ceremony on July 21.
The week before, members of the Entertainment Group of North Carolina, an association of video gambling providers, wrote a letter requesting that the governor veto the sweepstakes ban. The governor signed the bill, which had passed by overwhelming margins in both chambers of the General Assembly, but her comments the following day suggested that Perdue might be open to legalizing and regulating this form of gambling as the Entertainment Group had asked. Associated Press reporter Gary Robertson quoted Perdue saying, "I think if you have video sweepstakes, whether it's video poker or video machines in general, we really do need to have some kind of concentrated, organized, unified system of regulation where they are under a set of standards or regulations."
Similarly, at the Raleigh signing ceremony for the ABC reform bill, on July 21, Perdue suggested that next year’s looming budget shortfall of $3 billion might force legislators to privatize the ABC system altogether, an approach that lawmakers rejected earlier this year as they worked to draft the ABC legislation. "If that requires privatizing a piece of state government, I believe the General Assembly will have the courage,” explained Perdue, “to do what is needed to do to stand up and be sure that North Carolina's core missions will be all right."
North Carolina Family Policy Council President, Bill Brooks, contended, “While state budget problems will likely continue into next year, relying on income from the gambling industry that selectively preys on North Carolina’s poorer families and privatizing a highly effective alcohol control system is not the solution to effective and efficient government programs. Instead, lawmakers and the Governor should commission a private sector led task force, to examine every agency of government to eliminate waste, fraud, abuse, and duplication of services.”
Perdue Signs Gambling Ban Bill - July 22, 2010
Copyright © 2010. North Carolina Family Policy Council. All rights reserved.