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Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A North Carolina Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on video sweepstakes machines is going into effect.

The state Supreme Court last month upheld a state law outlawing sweepstakes halls as gambling operations. The court’s ruling goes into effect statewide on Thursday.

The US Supreme Court last week rejected the sweepstakes game industry’s request to block enforcement while businesses appealed to the country’s highest court, a step expected by mid-March.

Enforcement of the video sweepstakes ban was expected to vary widely around the state. A spokesman for the Internet Based Sweepstakes Operators says 90 percent of the state’s operators will close down voluntarily, with some reopening using different software and gaming options that will have to be tested with new court cases.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comment on this Story

  • Guest123234

    What line of work are you in to be able to make such a quick judgement of ones character. You do not have a clue. These folks have more disposable income then you or I will probably ever have. They enjoy the thrill of gambling. If there were casinos they would be there. It is their form of entertainment. Just like someone might go to a carolina football game and spend $300 or out to dinner,movies and drinks. You might stop in sometime and take a look around.

  • rd

    you have not been at the ones in currituck then. not all places operate like where you have been entering. know what your talkin about before you put a sentence like yours out there. the sweepstakes where i am from did nothing but offer a place to enjoy yourself and a place to socialize. which has been takin away from many peoople. we were not corrupting families breaking up homes,selling drugs, back door activity, and running whore houses. all the big whig know it alls and law makers have done is forced people to pile up in cars and split the gas and go to another state and give them the money thi county could be using.

  • BB


  • Guest461

    Every one of these places I’ve seen has seedy people coming and going at all hours…especially the back doors! A haven for illegal trade and shady dealings.

  • Rhonda

    I don’t know where you live or frequent, but you are a nut case. My husband & I frequent different sweepstakes & have never seen what you describe, you must be @ the back door then as we use the front! My goodness. Get real. Have a nice life! You’re quite dilusional.

  • I-Care

    Backdoor?? Really?? So what are you doing at the back door watching?
    Seedy?? All hours of the night?? hahahaha to funny…do you sleep?
    judge and so shall you will be judged according.

  • sylvia

    can someone tell me where they are i don’t mind going across the state line to nc and i agree there is nothing wrong just somewhere for me to relax and meet new people on my night off and we have had no problems and like they say do not tell me how to spend my money that i work for and futhermore if we had a casino closer i would not need to go to the cafes its better than a club where there is violence

  • guesty


    Feel free to use them in your next post.

  • Kirsten

    Miss going there! I can do what I chose to with my own money. Can somebody tell me where they are still open? They all are closed in Moore County. We need to start a Petition. Simply put… if you don’t like them stay out of them! And p.s. get a life!

  • Tee

    You must be a lottery employee. I play both, sweepstakes and lottery, and I have won a lot more with the parlors than with the state run lottery (just check the lottery’s published odds). And the sweepstakes are a lot more fun!!! And yes they DO have employees, and yes these employees probably don’t make as much as the lottery employees…

  • LuvSweeps

    There are honest earning employees at the “parlors”. Kinda like waitresses and waiters. Working on tips, paying taxes, etc. Unlike half of the state sitting at home earning $ for nothing. And they aren’t rigged. They are on the internet and that means they gotta be fair.

  • fixitsmurf

    extensive oversite…hahaha…they outlaw these games saying they are predetermined number of winners…yes the machine are designed to keep a percentage of the money…but the sctatch offs are the smae predetermined number of winners….and who says they really put all the winners out….did you see all the winners paid?

  • Vog46

    No I don’t work for the Lottery
    Yes I have played both Lottery and Sweepstakes. What are the odds of winning in a Sweepstakes parlor?
    Don’t care what the employees make in a Sweepstakes parlor.

    Gambling – be it lottery, parlor, casino has to be regulated. Why? Because it can be too easily manipulated by the operator. It is also steeped in criminal activity from a historical standpoint.

    And as much as I’d LIKE to make the generalization that the government is a bunch of crooks I won’t. I feel like there’s less of a chance for criminal activity in a state run lottery than anywhere else.
    I’m all for the people having casino’s available, or sweepstakes parlors – provided there’s oversight and they’re taxed to High Heaven.


  • jackie

    if i put money into a lottery ticket vending machine, coke, pepsi, snack or even a toy crane and i get something of value back then that is gambling according to the law!!!!!!!

  • vfocused


  • You seem to know an awful lot about the inside of these places not to patronize them.

  • Guest461

    …too reminiscent of a XXX book store facade with flashing signs, sticky carpet, a moldy smell and greasy-haired cheesers. I’d have to work my way throught the clouds of cigarette smoke, busted up scooters and ash trays to get through the front door.
    More disposable income than I will ever have? Well, perhaps you’re correct on that one! I’ll never have enough money to piss away in a dark, dank video hall with unregulated machines to steal my money on hopes and wishes of a 60 dollar windfall. My disposable income goes to charities. I enjoy feeding hungry children, elderly people and try to help them stay warm!

    So, “Clue me in” a bit further, my brilliant ray of sunshine. Tell us more about these hopes and dreams you caress.

  • Guest123234

    Do you now feel better about yourself letting us all know you give to charities. These owners are renters which in turn help a landlord pay his mortgage insurance and taxes. Which means a filled storefront. Workers at the locations make money and therefore pay taxes and spend money. Econ 101 take the class!!!

  • Currituck

    Some of these post are hilarious and i cant hold my tongue anymore! When it comes down to it, right now sweepstakes are shut down because the state cannot regulate it to make money and that’s the main reason, yes? YES! I hope they will reopen with new software as I’ve played the games with the new software already and seems to work for me. And then i get to see the many, many people that I personally have met in these places and they will be back to work and patrons as myself will again have somewhere to go to have fun and congregate with the numerous people that they have met and call social friends. I have personally seen all ages and races in the sweepstakes parlors and have not seen any problems like some of you speak of. Its a place where you can ask about their spouses surgery or how’s their children doing, you get my point. Yes, there are going to be very few places that are like you speak of but they are few and far between. Local police can shut those down. For those of you that have a problem with the sweepstakes parlors and don’t agree with it, DONT GO! If someone is irresponsible enough to spend their rent, food, bill money, etc. before handling their responsibilities, thats their fault and no one else’s. Not everyone that drinks is responsible but they still sell alcohol on every corner. Theres BINGO halls everywhere and people are still spending money to make money. I am far from wealthy but if I want to spend some of my extra money playing these game, I should be able too like anyone else. Don’t patronize people for spending THEIR money the way they want. The moral of the story, you don’t need to judge everyone playing sweepstakes when a handful of people are not responsible enough to do so. Get a grip Haters!


    AGREED 100%. They say it’s making the poor poorer and its addictive. Right! I don’t see no one trying to shut down Las Vegas or Atlantic city. A casino just opened up in Maryland. All selling alcohol, and people gambling. The lottery used to be once a day, now its twice a day. and you put millions out there to intice people to play, lol. if that lottery is not making the poor poorer as they say, nothing will. No one is making people go to the internet cafes just like no one is making them play the lottery, but it’s out there for them to do but they have a problem with internet cafes. I don’t get it. If no one can see that the concept is the same then their are a lot of blind people. The ones complaining can’t make money off of it. If it was regulated, nothing would be said. SMH… They put liquors stores out there, and know some people have drinking problems, They put cigarettes our there, which are very addictive and deadly just like liquor, but they let them sell these in the store, and sell wine, beer in regular convenient stores. COME ON MAN! JEEZ…..

  • Guest12344321

    so just to get this straight? its ok for the state to have the lottery gambling games, but its not ok for a individual to offer games, which in turn they pay taxes on, have employees, ? seems like the state is saying. DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO! get a clue north carolina!

  • Vog46

    Most are sole owners who run their own businesses and have no “employees”. If they do they are part time minimum wage employees for the most part.
    Because of their smaller nature AND the fact that they are run privately I wonder about the legitimacy of their gaming systems and whether they can be “fixed”. With the Lottery we have extensive over sight of the game itself. As poor as your chances are – at least it’s not “rigged”.


  • Guest Redneck Across the River

    Not exactly……the state wants a monopoly and fears competition, so they outlaw it. Somewhat like the sale of alcohol. For some reason, they have passed up the windfalls that tobacco and marijuana could provide in revenue.

  • SurfCityTom

    you must be new to the state.

    The Education Lottery has been, to date, a slush fund which the Democratic Governors have been able to dip into for special projects or to cover a budget shortfall. Never to be repaid by a Democratic Governor by the way.

    Now if the Video Game operators could fashion some similar mechanism by which the Democratic Governors could dip in and siphon off a portion, you would not have seen this; you would have seen Smiley fighting for this with all of her ability.

  • Ban everyone from play who receives child support, pays child support, has under age kids at home, has bills to pay and anyone who receives public assistance of any form. People meeting these criteria should not gamble or buy liquor at the ABC store or bars. They should stay away from the educational lottery as well.
    Drinking and gambling is not the way to achieve “The American Dream” and this country was founded on “The American Dream” ideals.
    Work harder America. Give up these thoughts that you may get lucky with a gambling machine and an alcoholic drink. Those machines are not around to make you wealthy, The booze never produced a clear working mind with concern for your fellow man or the improvement of society.
    What gambling and drinking has done is, rob from good families, taking away from deserving children,has caused many people to actually loose their homes,families, and children. This has led to the welfare lines where the culture of poverty resulted. This is not “The American Dream”, This gambling and drinking has got to stop.

  • Guest Reply

    “Ban everyone from play who receives child support, pays child support, has under age kids at home, has bills to pay and anyone who receives public assistance of any form. People meeting these criteria should not gamble or buy liquor at the ABC store or bars. They should stay away from the educational lottery as well.” (Unquote)
    Sounds like…(with the exception of the state lottery remark)…you are trying to shut down Las Vegas by way of Podunk.
    By the way…Nevada doesn’t have a state lottery.

  • fleebailey

    Dr Phil: Lighten up and have drink.

  • Vog46

    The first town hall in America was in a bar.
    The founding fathers loved to have a drink or two (or three). Heck they even got drunk a time or two. But hey knew when it was OK to drink and when it wasn’t. They also gambled !
    Its called SELF control for a reason.


  • GuestLiz Dorman

    I am a disabled Vietnam War veteran who takes care of my mother and aunt who are both disabled. I get a sitter one day a week to do my errands and shopping. When I am done I need a place to go relax and forget about the rest of the world.

    Yes it sounds stupid to put money in a machine, push a button and watch the wheel roll. When I do that I don’t think about my problems or my situation at home. I put in $40 dollars and play at least 4 hours on it. If I loose I have had $10 an hour entertainment. It is also a place to socialize with people you have never met before. I need that outlet.

    If they are so afraid of welfair people loosing their money – don’t give them any. Or put stronger control on it. Food stamps are for food. But they sell them for cash. I see it all the time. If they want to gamble their soap and toilet paper money – so be it.

    What are they going to do next? Cancell charge cards because some people abuse them.

    We need to stand up for our rights of having an easy access entertainment that does not require physical exertion. I want my game room back.

  • GuestTBagger

    Very true “Redneck Across the River”…. The state has no business in the sale of alcohol nor in “legalized” gambling.

  • Alan

    Our law makers should be more concerned with protecting our personal liberties. I play at these places with my friends, we have coffee, sometimes win a little sometimes lose a little. but should be my free choice to play or not. And what a double standard for the state to promote it’s lottery while stamping out a free market, tax paying business.

  • Kerstin

    I work at a sweepstakes cafe and I absoulutly love it. I get to meet all kinds of people, talk and joke around. Its a place where people come to relax. To talk about things, get things off there shoulders. Would you rather have people go and shoot up a place, or let them have somewhere where they can relax and think about things? Right now we are open, and will probably stay open. But I honestly think this was stupid to make a law like this…all we do is change the games and bam we are right back in it again. ;]


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