Governor Perdue Wants More Gambling
Special Report - June 8, 2012
One day after signing a bill to legalize Las Vegas-style casinos in North Carolina, Governor Beverly Perdue called on the General Assembly to also legalize the even more addictive video sweepstakes gambling machines. The General Assembly has consistently moved to clarify the state’s ban on video sweepstakes gambling, with the most recent effort coming in 2010. Despite the Legislature’s firm stand in opposition to video gambling, Governor Perdue issued a press release June 7 calling “on the General Assembly to raise additional revenue for our classrooms by regulating and taxing the thousands of sweepstakes games across North Carolina.” She went on to argue that the state’s difficulty in successfully “[running] them [sweepstakes games] out of the state” brought her to the conclusion to “regulate them, tax the heck out of them and use the money to fund our schools.”
Two lawsuits are currently pending that challenge the 2010 law, which sought to establish a clearer and tougher ban on video gambling in sweepstakes cafes and parlors across North Carolina. 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 March, in a 2 to 1 decision, a panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals decided that the new law “must be invalidated” because it is “overly broad.” The decision is on appeal by the State.
“Governor Perdue wants to have it both ways, saying simultaneously that she is opposed to expanded gambling, while putting a great deal of effort into a massive expansion of gambling on multiple fronts within a single 24-hour period,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Her approach to the state’s fiscal woes shows a lack of understanding or interest in the true cost that will be borne by those least able to afford it should North Carolina continue its about-face turn on its long-standing policy against gambling within its borders.”
Shortly after the Governor's announcement, Senate Rules Committee Chairman Tom Appodoca (R-Henderson) told WRAL.com, "I think that's a ridiculous idea, sweepstakes machines are a scourge." Rep. Harold Brubaker, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee said he would want to wait until after the courts had finished their consideration. It is thought that the N.C. Supreme Court will hear the matter in September.
N.C. Appeals Court Strikes Sweepstakes Ban - March 8, 2012
AG Issues Sweepstakes Ban Advisory - December 6, 2011
Competing Gambling Bills Filed - March 9, 2011
Bill Filed To Broaden Sweepstakes Ban - January 28, 2011
Court Won't Stay Gambling Ruling - January 1, 2011
Attorney General's Advisory Letter - December 2, 2010
Gambling Ban Moves Ahead - November 30, 2010
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
House Passes Video Gambling Ban - July 8, 2010
It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over: Video Gambling Returns to North Carolina - FNC- April 2010
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