Local governments gamble on sweepstakes parlors

June 18, 2012 3:18:30 PM PDT
Cities and towns across the Triangle are drawing up new rules to regulate internet sweepstakes parlors.

However, there's still a chance the State Supreme Court could shut down the halls.

Gov. Bev Perdue all but conceded recently the gambling halls would be the new reality in the state. She's against them but she did offer a solution. She wants to regulate them and tax them.

A sweepstakes parlor owner told ABC11 that he's open to the rules and potential tax burden but complains some cities like Raleigh are discriminating against his type of business with sky-high license fees.

In Cary, town leaders are scrambling to write their own set of rules and license fees for the fast-growing industry. However, planners are well aware there is a certain social stigma and morality question that goes along with these types of operations. Cary officials said they are going at the matter objectively.  

"From our perspective, we look at it as a land use issue," said Cary Planning Director Jeff Ulma. "There's lots of land uses that occur in cities and towns that some people like and some people don't like"

Meanwhile, the future of the sweepstake parlors is anything but certain.

The North Carolina Supreme Court could reinstate the ban on internet sweepstakes halls this fall when the issue goes before the justices.

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