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NORTH CAROLINA SENATE OK'S POKER BAN

Posted On: 4/25/2003

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RALEIGH, NC-- (Posted April 25) By a vote of 48-1, the North Carolina Senate voted yesterday to ban operator-run, amusement video poker across the state. The state's House of Representatives will now consider the measure. The current law allows poker operators to award prizes valued at $10 or less. Supporters of the ban, including lawmakers and state police, charge that many poker machines are subject to illegal cash payoffs, resulting in a $120 million per year market that is largely untaxed and extremely difficult to police. This is the second time in as many years that such a ban has passed; last year's version was sidelined by the House co-speaker Jim Black, who objected that certain language in the measure could allow expanded Indian gaming. The North Carolina Amusement Machine Association changed its leadership and program in December 2002 and January 2003 to favor an aggressive campaign to pass new legislation that would explicitly permit and regulate payoff video poker.