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N.C. Senate approves Internet sweepstakes ban

Online GamblingOnline Gambling: N.C. Senate approves Internet sweepstakes ban
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RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation Monday to shutter hundreds of new businesses that bill supporters argue are offering just another form of illegal video poker where people buy phone or Internet time, then play games on computer screens to win cash and prizes.

By a vote of 47-1, the chamber continued its long history of opposing video gambling, this time through electronic and computer-based devices springing up at new "sweepstakes cafes" or "business centers."

North Carolina Senate leaders, sheriffs and Christian groups say the sweepstakes games are an end-run around the state's 2006 video poker ban. A series of pending court cases where the illegality of the machines has been questioned has led to the new law attempting to tighten the ban.

The number of such locations statewide has soared in recent months to about 600, according to Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake, who is shepherding the bill through the Senate.

The state needs to "make crystal clear once and for all that running an Internet sweepstakes casino violates North Carolina laws," Stein said. He added that they are "popping up in strip malls, targeting low-income communities across our state."

Computer software designers and parlor operators who stand to lose a lot of money with a complete ban argue it would eliminate thousands of jobs and is no different than the North Carolina Education Lottery.

They cite an analysis by the N.C. lottery that found the state could generate $576 million annually if lawmakers legalize video poker machines again and regulate them heavily. Players and other game supporters blitzed senators with e-mails urging them to fight the ban.

"If the lawmakers really want to clean up the video gaming business, then they need to regulate it. We are asking for state oversight," William Thevaos, president of the Entertainment Group of North Carolina, said in a prepared statement. The group consists largely of amusement machine owners. "We can set aside funds just like the lottery to promote gambling addiction hot lines. We want to be proactive and help those who need help."

The lone "no" vote came from Sen. Julia Boseman, D-New Hanover, who has introduced a bill that would put video poker under the lottery's supervision.

"I'm not supporting these standalone sweepstakes parlors" but only want to regulate them to create revenues for the public schools, she said.

But Stein and others said the General Assembly made a policy decision to allow gambling only through the lottery in 2005. He said the video-poker "sweepstakes" games encourage rapid gambling compared to scratch-off and nightly numbers games. Lawmakers read e-mails from constituents who begged for the games to be eliminated.

The sweepstakes parlor jobs aren't the kind of high-paying jobs North Carolina residents need in the 21st century, said Sen. Joe Sam Queen, D-Haywood. "This scourge in our community erodes those dreams and those opportunities," Queen said. "This is a predatory industry that preys on citizens' weaknesses."

The bill will now return to the House, where its future is uncertain because Democrats are divided on the issue. Some want to tax video poker and others want to wait until the courts resolve the issue.

House Speaker Joe Hackney, D-Orange, said after the Senate vote he personally favors the ban and expects a committee to recommend whether the full chamber should approve the bill. Gov. Beverly Perdue would be asked to sign the bill into law.

Arcade games and marketing games by soft-drink companies and other retailers that require the consumer to type in a code at a company's website would remain legal under the legislation, Stein said.

http://media.lpimg.com/2010062201.mp4

AP, News14

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13 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by rdgrnr.
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Scott311's avatar - 311 logo01.jpg
N.C.
United States
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March 9, 2008
327 Posts
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Posted: June 22, 2010, 11:08 am - IP Logged

This is good news! I live in N.C. and these machines bring crime.

    Raven62's avatar - binary
    New Jersey
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    June 28, 2005
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    Posted: June 22, 2010, 11:23 am - IP Logged

    Once again the Elected Officials of NC demonstrate that they are Not in Touch with what the Residents of the State Want! Thud

    A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

      JordanT1021's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
      North Carolina
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      Member #53121
      June 24, 2007
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      Posted: June 22, 2010, 11:42 am - IP Logged

      i am glad nc passed this law.. too many people who don't have the money to spend, spend money on this when they should be buying food for their families..

      i am sure they will try to get this law stopped and it will take up to six months for it to final pass and get these stupid machines out of out state...

      my boss should be happy now b/c his wife goes to these places for hours a day

      Quoted by favor4:

      Your winning number is not under attack. It's about to HIT. So Hang In There"

        wpb's avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
        Charlotte North Carolina
        United States
        Member #464
        July 9, 2002
        17392 Posts
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        Posted: June 22, 2010, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

        i am glad nc passed this law.. too many people who don't have the money to spend, spend money on this when they should be buying food for their families..

        i am sure they will try to get this law stopped and it will take up to six months for it to final pass and get these stupid machines out of out state...

        my boss should be happy now b/c his wife goes to these places for hours a day

        I think they should leave them alone.  If you don't want to play them don't.  Crime in Charlotte and all of North Carolina will not go away whether the game are here or not.  It is a personal choice.  Who can say that people are taking money for food and playing these game? Who can say people are taking money for food to play Pick 3.  I think the State should spend more time in looking at what they are spending.  They waste a lot of money in my opinion.  Just my two cent worth.

        wpb

          dpoly1's avatar - driver
          PA
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          Member #66141
          October 16, 2008
          1672 Posts
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          Posted: June 22, 2010, 2:15 pm - IP Logged

          OK for NC - I guess ?

          I only want a Powerball win on Wednesday !

          PA needs a winner !

          Sun Smiley


            United States
            Member #73771
            April 24, 2009
            836 Posts
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            Posted: June 23, 2010, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

            i am glad nc passed this law.. too many people who don't have the money to spend, spend money on this when they should be buying food for their families..

            i am sure they will try to get this law stopped and it will take up to six months for it to final pass and get these stupid machines out of out state...

            my boss should be happy now b/c his wife goes to these places for hours a day

            lol thats a joke... those same people who dont have money to be spending in internet cafes are only going to resort to what.....???  thats right you guessed it THE NORTH CAROLINA EDUCATION LOTTERY.  so with that being said do you think they need to ban the lottery as well???

            Dont let these jokers fool you.  im  pretty sure they only banned internet gambling when the lottery rolled around.   and now that you have these sweepstake places every where, and they are booming, the lottery is losing money.  because i myself would much rather take my chances on a sweepstakes machine than a p3 number or scratch off.

              JordanT1021's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
              North Carolina
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              Member #53121
              June 24, 2007
              6500 Posts
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              Posted: June 23, 2010, 2:09 pm - IP Logged

              lol thats a joke... those same people who dont have money to be spending in internet cafes are only going to resort to what.....???  thats right you guessed it THE NORTH CAROLINA EDUCATION LOTTERY.  so with that being said do you think they need to ban the lottery as well???

              Dont let these jokers fool you.  im  pretty sure they only banned internet gambling when the lottery rolled around.   and now that you have these sweepstake places every where, and they are booming, the lottery is losing money.  because i myself would much rather take my chances on a sweepstakes machine than a p3 number or scratch off.

              true true....

              I personally just don't like them, but you are correct Kobra..

              Quoted by favor4:

              Your winning number is not under attack. It's about to HIT. So Hang In There"

                JordanT1021's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
                North Carolina
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                Member #53121
                June 24, 2007
                6500 Posts
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                Posted: June 23, 2010, 2:12 pm - IP Logged

                I think they should leave them alone.  If you don't want to play them don't.  Crime in Charlotte and all of North Carolina will not go away whether the game are here or not.  It is a personal choice.  Who can say that people are taking money for food and playing these game? Who can say people are taking money for food to play Pick 3.  I think the State should spend more time in looking at what they are spending.  They waste a lot of money in my opinion.  Just my two cent worth.

                leave them alone, but as of now these places don't pay taxes..

                I hear they might tax each computer as an assest or something like that.. I know in Archdale, NC - Archdale passed a town law they each sweepstakes places can only have a maximum of 20 computers for each location and each computer must have a parking spot for each computer..

                Quoted by favor4:

                Your winning number is not under attack. It's about to HIT. So Hang In There"


                  United States
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                  Posted: June 23, 2010, 3:15 pm - IP Logged

                  true true....

                  I personally just don't like them, but you are correct Kobra..

                  i do like them, but at the same time a part of me wants them to ban them so i'll have one less thing i can waste my money onGreen laugh

                    Tenaj's avatar - michellea
                    Charlotte NC
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                    Member #17406
                    June 18, 2005
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                    Posted: June 26, 2010, 5:17 am - IP Logged

                    BSIf you do a history of video game crime in Charlotte NC, you will see that it were police officers who ran them and got busted for it.  They are still underground.  They are just protecting their profits.  Such hypocrites.

                    takeemtothebank

                      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
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                      Posted: June 26, 2010, 5:57 am - IP Logged

                      The games will be back as soon as they (the politicians) find a way to make money off of them without hurting existing lottery sales.

                      They don't give a rat's @ss about all the other reasons and considerations they came up with. It's all about the money.

                      There's obviously a big market for these games and the pols never shy away from people who want to throw money around.

                      Now is the time for palm greasing and back room deals by the promoters and figuring out the confiscation rate by the pols.

                      I predict they'll be back within a year under the aegis of the NC Lottery.


                                                                   
                                           
                                                               

                       

                       

                       

                       

                                                                                                                         

                      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

                       

                       

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                        kannapolis, nc
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                        June 29, 2010
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                        Posted: June 29, 2010, 7:13 pm - IP Logged

                        I am a single mother who manages one of these locations. Its bc of this job that I do not need welfare in any form or fashion to assist my daughter and myself with our everyday living expenses. The media (and our government) is over-hyping the supposed “negative effects” of our business centers. As a manager and employee I have many many customers that come in our establishment to purchase Internet time and file their weekly unemployment claims. I have assisted many customers in preparing their resumes and applying for jobs using our prepaid Internet services. College students frequent our locations because we are open later than the library and they can access the Internet and utilize our docs and spreadsheets to assist with their homework and research. We also offer a safe environment where many retired people come and socialize with others in the community, people who used to stay shut indoors all the time with no where to go and no Internet access, now they get out, come play our free games, have coffee with friends, and learn a little more about the computer and Internet then they ever thought they would. Not only would you be shutting down an establishment that assists so many different types of people throughout the community and limiting their freedom of choice, but you would also be taking away hundreds of jobs causing the unemployment rate to skyrocket, the welfare rate to rise, and many many more people losing their homes, cars, and lives. Alot of the employees are college students, single mothers, fathers and husbands that have been laid off of other jobs and cant find employment elsewhere in this horrible economy! So when you take these things away from us what is your solution to replace the jobs that will be lost, how are you planning on being able to offer the assistance to those who need Internet access for college work, unemployment claims, job searches and the many other services and safe social environment that we provide? What are your plans to replace the needed services we offer to so many in our communities? You say you are doing this as a solution to a problem but I fail to see where you are offering a better alternative to so many that will be left without. This is not a solution only another attempt to strip those citizens that trust in you of their rights and so many more of their jobs and resources available to them at a cost they can afford.

                          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                          United States
                          Member #73904
                          April 28, 2009
                          14903 Posts
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                          Posted: June 30, 2010, 6:06 am - IP Logged

                          I am a single mother who manages one of these locations. Its bc of this job that I do not need welfare in any form or fashion to assist my daughter and myself with our everyday living expenses. The media (and our government) is over-hyping the supposed “negative effects” of our business centers. As a manager and employee I have many many customers that come in our establishment to purchase Internet time and file their weekly unemployment claims. I have assisted many customers in preparing their resumes and applying for jobs using our prepaid Internet services. College students frequent our locations because we are open later than the library and they can access the Internet and utilize our docs and spreadsheets to assist with their homework and research. We also offer a safe environment where many retired people come and socialize with others in the community, people who used to stay shut indoors all the time with no where to go and no Internet access, now they get out, come play our free games, have coffee with friends, and learn a little more about the computer and Internet then they ever thought they would. Not only would you be shutting down an establishment that assists so many different types of people throughout the community and limiting their freedom of choice, but you would also be taking away hundreds of jobs causing the unemployment rate to skyrocket, the welfare rate to rise, and many many more people losing their homes, cars, and lives. Alot of the employees are college students, single mothers, fathers and husbands that have been laid off of other jobs and cant find employment elsewhere in this horrible economy! So when you take these things away from us what is your solution to replace the jobs that will be lost, how are you planning on being able to offer the assistance to those who need Internet access for college work, unemployment claims, job searches and the many other services and safe social environment that we provide? What are your plans to replace the needed services we offer to so many in our communities? You say you are doing this as a solution to a problem but I fail to see where you are offering a better alternative to so many that will be left without. This is not a solution only another attempt to strip those citizens that trust in you of their rights and so many more of their jobs and resources available to them at a cost they can afford.

                          Very well put, Val. Excellent defense.

                          You should put that in your state's biggest newspaper's opinion section so your voice is heard and the word gets out.


                                                                       
                                               
                                                                   

                           

                           

                           

                           

                                                                                                                             

                          "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke