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Back You are here: Home Opinion Opinion Section Editorials Editorial: Sweepstakes Issue Getting Old; But Ironic!

Editorial: Sweepstakes Issue Getting Old; But Ironic!

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The State banned Internet Sweepstakes machines in 2010. Since that time the industry that creates the software and systems for those machines has played a tiring game of semantics. They're looking for any loophole they can come up with and then testing the courts to see if any given judge will agree or at least grant an injunction until a ruling can be made. If not, then keep trying.
This. Is. Getting. Old.
Years ago it was video poker. The State banned those machines. Then the companies retooled the machines for Sweepstakes. Not to dwell on the history (See report on page 1-A) but at some point the State must find a solution to resolve the issue once and for all.
Whether that means legalizing Sweepstakes Machines or finally coming up with a law so complicated that it regulates the business out of existence and eliminates any hope of finding loopholes, something has to be done. Law enforcement is getting vague direction such as "proceed slowly" or "our office will make a determination."
There are ways local governments can get around this issue such as setting the licensing fees extremely high or limiting hours of operation. They could also claim they can't issue licenses for machines deemed illegal by the state and direct people to the state for answers. 
On the other hand, it's kind of hard to argue against Sweepstakes Parlors when the State of North Carolina operates the largest gambling business within its boundaries. The "Education Lottery". And they allow gambling on Indian Reservations. Kind of ironic and impossible to ignore.
Legalized gambling with proper government oversight can work. It's done in other states. In this case, the Sweepstakes semantics and loophole fishing trips are getting old. And those who invested in those businesses knew the risk going into it. So claiming it will cost jobs is a non-argument.
Perhaps it's time to start lobbying elected leaders before they start authoring even tighter legislation.