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NC Senate takes steps to expand video poker ban

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RALEIGH, N.C. -- The state Senate has put on the fast track a bill to make it clear a 2006 video poker ban includes an alternate form of the games popping up across North Carolina.

A Senate judiciary committee recommended Thursday a bill that tries to close down "sweepstakes cafes" or "business centers" where customers buy Internet or phone time but usually play computer-based games to win cash and prizes. The bill could come up for a Senate floor vote later Thursday.

Judges in three counties have sided with game distributors who say the video screens aren't covered by the ban.

The bill passed the committee despite complaints by the industry the bill could put thousands of people out of work who are employed by industry.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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