A divided state appeals court has struck down North Carolina's ban on video sweepstakes machines, saying it is overbroad and infringes on free speech.
The state Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 Tuesday to strike down the 2010 law. The split decisions in a pair of lawsuits mean cases involving the Legislature's long-running effort to stop the spread of video poker-style games are likely to be heard by the state Supreme Court.
The law said sweepstakes operators cannot use a video screen to reveal a sweepstakes prize, but Judge Ann Marie Calabria wrote that the Legislature was wrong to categorically forbid screens from conveying the results in a constitutionally protected manner.
Judge Robert C. Hunter wrote the dissenting opinion, saying the law should be upheld because it regulates conduct, not speech.
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