Competing Gambling Bills Filed
Special Report - March 9, 2011
Two very different video gambling bills were introduced in the General Assembly last weekone that would clarify the 2010 ban on video sweepstakes gambling in order to completely outlaw the predatory business, while the other would legalize video gambling in North Carolina and treat it has part of the State lottery. HB 226-Prohibit Sweepstakes Devices, whose primary sponsors include Representatives Ray Rapp (D-Haywood), Norman Sanderson (R-Craven), Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland), and Paul Stam (R-Wake), is described as “an act to prohibit sweepstakes promoters from providing any type of electronic machine or device to sweepstakes entrants.” The measure is aimed at clarifying last year’s ban on video sweepstakes gambling and is intended to address Superior Court Judge John Craig’s 2010 ruling that found most of the law constitutional but also ruled that some of the provisions are unconstitutionally vague. HB 226 would amend Article 37 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes to make “All electronic devices or machines for sweepstakes unlawful.” The bill includes a 14-point definition of “electronic devices or machines.” It also seeks to address ongoing attempts by video gambling operators to get around the law by adjusting the games by stating that, “It is the intent of this section to prohibit any mechanism that seeks to avoid application of this section through the use of any subterfuge or pretense whatsoever.” It would make violation of the amended statute a “Class 1 misdemeanor for the first offense, and a Class H felony for the second offense, and a Class G felony for the third or subsequent offense.” If enacted, HB 226 would go into effect in July 2011.
On March 3, just one day after HB 226 was introduced, Representative Bill Owens (D-Camden) introduced a very different bill that would essentially legalize video gambling in North Carolina. HB 228-Video Lottery Entertainment would “allow video lottery for the purpose of profit sharing with the State of North Carolina.” HB 228 defines video lottery games as “electronically simulated games of chance approved by the Commission that are displayed and played on licensed video lottery terminals.” The bill specifies that, “no less than 46 percent of the total annual revenues shall be transferred to the North Carolina State Lottery Fund.” A companion bill, SB 209, has been filed in the State Senate by Senators Clark Jenkins (D-Edgecombe) and Doug Berger (D-Franklin).
As we previously reported, another bill to broaden and strengthen the 2010 ban on video sweepstakes gambling was introduced earlier this year by Senator Don Vaughan (D-Guilford). That bill, SB 3-Broaden Sweepstakes Law, would ban sweepstakes gambling and video poker.
Bill Filed To Broaden Sweepstakes Ban - January 28, 2011
Court Won't Stay Gambling Ruling - January 11, 2011
"It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over":
An Overview Of The Facts on Video Gambling in North Carolina
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