Honest Lottery Act Passes Additional Committee
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
March 14, 2013
RALEIGH — A growing scandal surrounding the arrest of a sweepstakes company owner who had contributed large sums to lawmakers from both parties illustrates the dangers of aligning oneself with the gambling industry, said the Rev. Mark Creech, the Christian Action League’s executive director.
“This is how gambling is; it’s corrupt at the core,” he said. “And the industry casts a wide net in its quest for power.”
According to the Associated Press and the Raleigh News & Observer, 37-year-old Chase Burns, an Oklahoma technology company owner, faces racketeering and conspiracy charges in Florida after claiming money going into his gambling machines there would benefit the charity Allied Veterans, which in fact received less than 1 percent of proceeds.
Burns’ company, International Internet Technologies is one of the firms battling North Carolina’s online sweepstakes ban in the courts. ITT reportedly employs about 1,100 people in its sweepstakes operations in the Tar Heel state, where records show Burns has contributed some $154,000 to political candidates in recent years, including those on both sides of the aisle, the media reported. Florida prosecutors announced their belief that Burns earned more than $290 million via his software gambling scheme.
“This is the caliber of many of the folks in the gambling industry that are pushing to end the ban on video sweepstakes, insisting that they can’t wait to be regulated and taxed so that they can operate on the up and up and help the state generate revenue,” Dr. Creech said. “Anyone who believes their claims is truly willing to gamble away the future of our state. We’re glad to see this arrest take at least one player out of the picture for the time being. One can only hope that lawmakers can see this industry is like a cancer that eats away at the very character of our culture.”
The investigation of illegal gambling in Florida has resulted in the arrests of 57 people and has led the state’s lieutenant governor to resign.
In North Carolina, some lawmakers who had received campaign contributions from Burns immediately donated a like sum to charities when news of his arrest broke.
“All lawmakers should learn from this situation in Florida and stop taking any money from the gambling industry, period,” said Dr. Creech. “It’s a corrupt business that breeds corruption.”
Honest Lottery Act Passes Additional Committee Scrutiny
In other gambling news, the Honest Lottery Act has been approved by a House Judiciary Committee, after eliminating the bill’s provision that the Lottery change its name by dropping the word “Education.” The bill would require the N.C. Lottery to be more forthcoming with the odds of winning large prizes and would prevent lottery advertising at college sports events among other provisions. H 156, Honest Lottery Act, is headed to the Committee on Appropriations.