Archive for July 15th, 2010
The North Carolina Senate and House last week ratified House Bill 80, a law that is designed to close loopholes in the state’s ban on video poker machines by prohibiting “the use of electronic machines and devices for sweepstakes purposes.” The bill is expected to become law with an effective date of Dec 1, 2010. An earlier version of the bill contained language that could have banned instant win sweepstakes and other forms of sweepstakes conducted for marketing purposes, but the bill’s sponsor eliminated that language, after hearing from PMA & others.
The bill bans the use of electronic machines owned by the sponsor or promoter and intended to be used by sweepstakes entrants. It is not aimed at the consumer’s PC, laptop, or mobile device, or at a server or other device for the consumer’s use. It also requires, for the statute to apply, the use of an “entertaining display”, which is basically defined as encompassing the uses associated with video poker and gambling devices.
The intent of the bill was to prevent gambling businesses from hiding behind the veil of electronic sweepstakes, but not to penalize legitimate sweepstakes operations.
PMA was instrumental in helping to modify the language of the proposed bill, protecting our industry. Linda Goldstein and Ed Kabak of the PMA Governmental Activities Council were actively involved in the revision of the law. Thanks also to Ed Chansky, Brian Heidelberger, and Scott Schleifstein for their help in the process.