June 1, 2006


Video Poker Phase-Out Ban Nears Reality After N.C. House Approval (AP, June 1, 2006)

The state House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ban video poker machines by next summer, a move that seems to signal the end of the profitable industry in North Carolina.

The vote of 114-1 comes after House Speaker Jim Black, the General Assembly's most staunch supporter of the games, was tied in recent months to investigations of the gambling industry, including video poker and the state lottery.

The measure would slowly reduce the number of machines any retailer could operate or distributor set up at one location from three to none by July 1, 2007. Repeat offenders or those caught with five or more machines would be guilty of a felony.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which has approved a ban five times since 2000. Gov. Mike Easley would be asked to sign the bill into law.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 1, 2006 11:55 AM

The one thing I love about gambling is that it is the perfect tax.

If you want less of something, tax it - right?

Gambling taxes stupidity. Save for the addiction, it's a win-win.

Posted by: Bruno at June 1, 2006 12:06 PM

This is great news. Unfortunately, the South Dakota Atty. General nixed a ballot initiative to get rid of Video Poker in SoDak based on some case which haggled over the difference between Initiative and Referendum.

Ah well. That was only the 4th attempt to get rid of the infernal Money Slurpers, without success.

Posted by: Brad S at June 1, 2006 12:09 PM

Yeah, Bruno, it's a win-win, alright. Until the state has to underwrite the cost of some gambling addict's children's welfare/heathcare costs.

Posted by: Brad S at June 1, 2006 12:11 PM


Sure it's just anti-moral.

Posted by: oj at June 1, 2006 12:13 PM

Isn't this just the state trying to eliminate competition? I assume NC has a lottery that there's no intention of eliminating...

Posted by: b at June 1, 2006 12:13 PM

South Carolina had 'em in the '90's. It was like crack. The legislature came to its senses & shut it down.

Posted by: TWN at June 1, 2006 12:29 PM

Thank goodness we'll always have Nevada and the Indian reservations. What's an old Pit Boss to do? I'm too old to start a new career.

Posted by: Patrick H at June 1, 2006 12:40 PM

b is exactly correct. Not only does NC have a lottery, but it introduced it about 30 days ago. This is not about reducing gambling, just making sure that it's directed toward the lottery.

Posted by: David Rothman at June 1, 2006 4:17 PM

Indeed. "Don't steal, the goverment hates competition," those bumper stickers go.

A pure case of my state cracking down on the competition for the brand new lottery.

Posted by: John Thacker at June 1, 2006 5:24 PM

Of course it's about competition. Also, Jim Black is now damaged goods and may be indicted (two of his aides have been). He needs to look clean. Plus, Mike Easley is looking for a legacy, and it will be the lottery (he's done nothing else of note, except to raid local funds that are maintained by the state, which is common practice in NC). Why a governor would want to be remembered for a lottery is beyond me.

Posted by: jim hamlen at June 3, 2006 9:22 AM