NC Supreme Court upholds first criminal appeal under video sweepstakes ban

NC Supreme Court upholds first criminal appeal under video sweepstakes ban

By / State News / Friday, 17 April 2015 04:00

In the case of State v. Chapman, Spruill, the North Carolina Supreme Court certified an order on April 17th denying the defendants' petition that it hear the case. That means the opinion issued in November, 2014 by the North Carolina Court of Appeals<http://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions/?c=2&pdf=32363> upholding the first criminal appeal under the state's ban on electronic sweepstakes (NCGS §14-306.4<http://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_14/GS_14-306.4.html>) stands as the law of the state. The appeals court's ruling upheld both the statute and the conviction of two defendants in Edgecombe County.

State efforts to outlaw video gambling have led to multiple lawsuits and the Attorney General's Office has fought in court to uphold the ban. In December, 2012, the NC Supreme Court issued a strong decision upholding the law<http://appellate.nccourts.org/opinions/?c=1&pdf=29503&hn=1>, paving the way for law enforcement and District Attorneys to take action against violators.

Law enforcement agencies in several parts of the state have since enforced the law against video sweepstakes operations in their communities, and District Attorneys have won convictions under the law. The Attorney General's Office handles those cases on appeal, as it does all state criminal cases that get appealed.

Gambling interests continue to file civil court actions to try to block enforcement of the law and attorneys with our office are representing the state in many of those matters.

Statement from Attorney General Roy Cooper:
"We've seen time and again that video gambling leads to corruption and crime, and that's why I've long stood with law enforcement against it. Today's action by the court makes it clear that North Carolina officers and prosecutors have authority to go after illegal gambling operations in their communities."

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