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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 3, March 2011, Posted On: 2/24/2011

NC Gov Punts On Legalizing Poker Or Sweeps Videos

Marcus Webb
sweepstakes games, Internet-based sweepstakes videogames, Gov. Bev Perdue, video poker, Entertainment Group of North Carolina, amusement business, coin machine, coin-op news

RALEIGH, NC -- Gov. Bev Perdue submitted her proposed 2011 budget for North Carolina last week without asking lawmakers to legalize payoff video poker or video sweepstakes games with large cash prizes, contrary to ongoing recent predictions by some industry figures, political observers and media outlets. | SEE STORY

The Charlotte News-Observer reported that the democratic governor strongly consider the sweepstakes market, at one point going so far as to visit a sweepstakes café where she actually played some of the controversial games. | SEE STORY

Purdue said she decided against calling for legalization of the video gaming formats because she wanted to avoid being "distracted" by a six-month debate over gambling.

Following the governor's submission of her budget, leading members of the NC General Assembly also said they would not introduce legalization bills this year. Political observers said this effectively eliminates any possibility of legalization in 2011.

Two different state operator groups have lobbied in favor of poker and sweepstakes games legalization for more than a year, claiming a regulated market could yield annual tax revenues of $500 million or more.

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