- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Monday night, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would outlaw video gaming entertainment.
If the same measure were to be approved by the state House of Representatives, it would essentially force electronic sweepstakes operations, like those which have popped up throughout Brunswick County, out of business.
While we agree something needs to be done about these businesses on the state level, a more comprehensive look at gambling in North Carolina would better benefit citizens. North Carolina currently allows gambling through the education lottery. Why is it then lawmakers find electronic video gaming more unappealing?
The state needs to re-evaluate how it deals with gambling in general.
If the state is going to continue to allow gambling through the lottery, it makes sense video gaming be allowed and regulated. Otherwise gambling should be abolished altogether.
Clearly, there is a lot of money to be made in these operations. Why else would representatives from the business, like the Entertainment Group of North Carolina, support regulation and taxation?
The operations have also created jobs, and as the businesses have sprung up on just about every corner in Brunswick County, they’re also helping stimulate the local economy as operators rent, lease or purchase space to run these businesses.
Some industry officials indicate statewide the ban could cut 10,000 jobs and would hurt the economy.
Locally, individual towns have tried their best to figure out how to effectively and fairly tax and regulate these businesses while meeting the wishes of residents, business operators and patrons. It’s been a difficult, delicate dance, one that could be made easier by state regulation.
As always, as this measure continues through the General Assembly, elected officials need to hear directly from the people they represent. Frank Iler, who represents Brunswick County in the state House, said he would need to see the bill before he can form an opinion on it. He questions the constitutionality of banning or taxing the businesses since the state has made the lottery legal.
Do you want these businesses to go away altogether or would you rather the government tax and regulate them in a way that could help stimulate the economy and help increase a dwindling state budget?
Now is the time to speak out. Contact Iler by phone at (919) 301-1450 or (910) 201-1007 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact Rep. Dewey Hill at (919) 733-5830 or (910) 642-6044 or via e-mail at email@example.com.