ONLY ON 3: Despite state ban, Pender Co. to consider zoning for sweepstakes parlors
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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Pender County commissioners may roll the dice on a gray area at their meeting Monday night. A business is trying to get approval to open a sweepstakes parlor, even though the state banned the video games last year.

On the agenda is a public hearing to approve two special use permits to open two sweepstakes parlors in the county - one in Hampstead and another in Rocky Point. So we wanted to know how this could even be considered on the agenda.

We reached out to Pender County Commissioners. After only hearing back from two, it seems even the people in power are in the dark about the hearing and the laws surrounding video gaming in North Carolina. Commissioner Chester Ward admitted he did not know they were illegal in the state, even though the law went into effect last year.

So we decided then to talk to Rep. Carolyn Justice. She said sweepstakes were absolutely illegal, but there were some loopholes. She directed us to the General Assembly's Research Office. The staff there explained that the state does have a law banning sweepstakes, but there is still some controversy surrounding the issue.

A research analyst said a part of the law is going to the court of appeals because of a lawsuit in Guilford County. The suit says part of the law is vague and unconstitutional, allowing the sweepstakes to remain in business. He says right now, many law enforcement agencies are waiting for the Court of Appeals to decide the case.

The Pender County Planning Board says the business is seeking land use approval at Monday night's meeting. County planners are under the understanding that the business will only operate using legal games.

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No video poker, no Internet sweepstakes, but how many Mega-Million and Powerball tickets will the state sell this week?

Raleigh, stop playing mommy. We're adults, and don't need you protecting us from ourselves.

Why doesnt the state just allow the games, but tax the crap out of them, like they do everything else, then our state would have the budget crisis it is having now.

I think the state has even figured out how to tax the air that we breathe...

Brunswick County must not know they are illegal, as there are plenty so-called "Sweepstakes Cafes" here with big signs out front proudy proclaining such.

Are you kidding me? Another place for losers to go smoke and lose their money. Money they don't have to be losing in the first place. These places and the lottery just suck up disposable income and provide no value to the community. The only reason they are allowed is to collect taxes. We are a bunch of whores, especially the politicians!

I must comment and express my profound disagreement with your statement that politicians are whores. I find this most disagreeable, in fact quite offensive and demeaning. A whore provides companionship and pleasure, albeit short term. What benefit does a politician provide??

Except for some loopholes...