Gambling Ban Moves Ahead
Special Report - November 30, 2010
Guilford County Superior Court Judge John Craig III emailed attorneys November 22 essentially upholding the video sweepstakes ban that is scheduled to go into effect December 1, according to the Greensboro News & Record. As of Wednesday, the new clearer and tougher ban on video gambling in North Carolina will be in effect, and will explicitly apply to the newer breed of video gambling known as sweepstakes. Sweepstakes cafes and parlors across the state 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.
In his email, Craig ruled that eight of the prohibitions in the new ban “will be allowed to continue to operate, so long as they do not violate any other portions of the law.” Sections a. through h. in the new law outlaw video poker and other video playing card games, video bingo, video craps, video keno, video lotto, eight liner, and Pot-of-gold. According to the judge’s email, “these subsections of the statute are proper under the State’s police powers as to the regulation of gambling.” It went on to state, “As of December 1, 2010, those enumerated devices will be illegal.” However, an additional section of the new law banning “Any other video game not dependent on skill or dexterity that is played while revealing a prize as the result of an entry into a sweepstakes” was deemed “overbroad” and therefore struck down as a “violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.” Scott Mooneyham has an interesting discussion of the decision here.
Monday, a Wake County judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the ban and seeking to prevent it from going into effect as scheduled on December 1. Both cases could be appealed to higher courts, but for the time being, most if not all of the new ban will go into effect on Wednesday, making the operation of any of the games listed above illegal.
HB 80Ban Electronic Sweepstakes was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Perdue this summer in an effort to deal with the proliferation of video sweepstakes gambling operations around the state brought on by a supposed loophole in the existing statute. Several lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to put off the scheduled implementation of the law beginning December 1. None of those attempts have been successful.
Sweepstakes Lawsuits Dropped - October 26, 2010
Injunction On Internet Gambling Fees - October 18, 2010
Gambling Operators Sue Cities - August 13, 2010
Perdue Signs Gambling Ban Bill - July 22, 2010
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