Sweepstakes Parlors Dodge NC Gambling Bans

A North Carolina appeals court ruling preserving a broad ban on video poker machines hasn't stopped Internet sweepstakes parlors from offering the chance to win cash.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday that sweepstakes operators say their business isn't gambling because patrons are paying for computer time or a phone card. They say the hands of video poker or results from virtual slot machines are promotional devices that coax people to buy a product and get a chance to win a prize.

The sweepstakes game are legal for now. A Superior Court judge in High Point has blocked police from cracking down on the sweepstakes parlors until a lawsuit over their legality is resolved.

Legislative leaders say they plan to keep an eye on the lawsuit and the industry.

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