Support HB 80 – Ban Electronic Sweepstakes
Only a few days left in the session, your lawmaker needs to hear from you now!!!
Video poker was outlawed in 2006, but since that time two Superior Court Judges issued injunctions against applying the current ban to a new form of gambling becoming more and more prevalent in North Carolina known as Video Sweepstakes.
Rep. Ray Rapp (D-Madison), a longtime leader in the fight against video poker, told the Asheville Citizen Times that about five video sweepstakes parlors open every day in North Carolina. Researchers say that video gambling is “the most addictive form of gambling in history”, as opposed to other forms such as horse racing, sports betting, blackjack, the lottery, etc., which can take up to three years to form an addiction, while video gambling only takes a year. (R.B. Breen and Zimmerman, “Rapid onset of pathological gambling in machine gamblers,” Journal of Gambling Studies, vol. 18, No. 1, 2002, 21 August 2003) These video sweepstakes parlors are essentially mini-casinos that are spreading like a wild-fire.
This is why on June 21, the North Carolina Senate approved HB 80 – Ban Electronic Sweepstakes by a margin of 47-1, making it crystal clear that not only was video poker not wanted in this state, but also any electronic games that mimic it. Yet the House has not acted on the measure and time is running out. The North Carolina General Assembly is expected to adjourn by the end of this week.
It appears some House members are nervous about voting on HB 80 in an election year. Moreover, the industry is putting a lot of pressure on lawmakers with hundreds of emails – daily urging them to pass over this legislation. Some lawmakers are erroneously contending the state should wait for the courts to rule. A host of high powered lobbyists for video gaming say if lawmakers ban video sweepstakes it will cause the loss of thousands of jobs. And still others argue for legalizing, regulating, and taxing it.
Its time lawmakers in the NC House heard in mass from those who believe that gambling is pervasive and destroys lives. HB 80 – Ban Electronic Sweepstakes will clarify for the courts what is unclear in the current law. Allowing video gambling to continue overtime will cause the loss of more jobs than banning it. Moreover, attempts in the past to regulate video poker in the Tar Heel state have proven to be futile. Corruption and crime were associated with the industry – even in the halls of government. We can expect more of the same should video sweepstakes gaming be allowed to continue.
The longer North Carolina waits the stronger the industry will become, the greater the foothold they will gain, and the more lives will be destroyed by gambling-related addictions, crime, and corruption. Contact your lawmaker today and ask that he/she exhaust every effort possible to see that HB 80 – Ban Electronic Sweepstakes is brought to the House floor for a vote before this year’s legislative session ends.
There is not much time to act. Reliable sources tell the Christian Action League that a decision about whether to allow the legislation to the floor could be made as early as Tuesday, July 6th. Contact your lawmaker now!!!
To Contact your Representative in the NC House click here now!!!