Critics of the N.C. Education Lottery won't be able to stop the state's plan to launch the game next month.
But they can keep a lawsuit going that says lawmakers cut legal corners in approving the game, according to two court rulings Wednesday.
In fact, the court hearings on whether the lottery is legal could continue as the lottery starts. The next court date is scheduled for March 20, 10 days before the lottery's instant winner scratch-off tickets are supposed to go on sale.
Wake County Superior Court Judge Henry Hight denied the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit, which says legislative leaders violated the state constitution by holding two required votes to approve the lottery in a single day.
Hight also denied a motion that would have forced the lottery to halt all work until the judge ruled on the case.