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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — North Carolina’s highest court says the state can outlaw video sweepstakes parlors because they don’t have the same free speech protections given to video games.

The state Supreme Court ruled Friday in two cases in which amusement machine and other companies sought to overturn a 2010 law banning video sweepstakes machines as a form of gambling. Sweepstakes halls have cropped up in what justices called a perceived loophole since the state outlawed video poker machines in 2007.

The court ruled the state law regulates the conduct of playing the sweepstakes games, which opponents say feed the same gambling addictions as traditional video poker machines. The video sweepstakes parlors argued winners are predetermined so gambling isn’t involved, and a US Supreme Court ruling last year protecting video games applies to them.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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