Updated: 5:15 p.m. Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Posted: 4:40 p.m. Thursday, July 8, 2010
New Law Bans Sweepstakes Parlors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
A new law will ban sweepstakes parlors starting Dec. 1, and some parlor owners said they aren’t pleased.
“[My customers are] very upset about it. We're not happy about it,” Lauren Oakley, who owns one of the businesses, said.
Sweepstakes cafes blossomed in Charlotte after a previous state law shut down video poker parlors four years ago.
Critics of the cafes have said that even though the new games have a predetermined outcome, they still take advantage of players.
Arieyah Naseek said he’s glad the new law will force out the sweepstakes parlor next to his church school.
“They don't go together,” Naseek said. “That's always been a concern of ours.”
Despite concerns, the sweepstakes industry has found many willing players and also employs 10,000 people at 900 locations across the state. Because of the industry’s powerful presence, state Sen. Bob Rucho said he doubts the fight it over.
“I suspect that they're going to spin around in a very short period of time and find what is the next way around the law,” Rucho said.
Some players said they care about the games, not the politics, and will keep playing one way or another.
“They're going to go somewhere and gamble,” Dexter Smith said. “They're going to do it illegally, legally -- people are going to gamble.”
The new law is now waiting for the governor's signature, giving sweepstakes businesses just a few more months before they'll be forced to close.