Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Coming to a sweepstakes parlor near you….

In an attempt to stay in stay in business, look for sweepstakes parlors to switch to offering gambling with less entertainment value. Or something like that. As the Wilmington Star-News reports:

When North Carolina outlawed video poker in 2007, a loophole gave rise to sweepstakes. Now, with a ban on sweepstakes set to take effect on Thursday, a crafty gaming industry may have already found a way to skirt it.

Attorneys for two companies that provide gaming technology wrote in a letter to law enforcement last month that their clients planned on converting their sweepstakes to a “non-entertaining reveal system.” The letter noted that one state court ruled that such a system did not violate the ban on sweepstakes, which only prohibits using “electronic entertaining displays to reveal sweepstakes winnings.”

A “non-entertaining reveal system?” OK.

2 Responses to “Coming to a sweepstakes parlor near you….”

  • Jan

    There were more speakeasies during Prohibition than legal taverns before or after.

    More proof that right-wing “do something” groupthink is just as ineffectual as left-wing “do something” groupthink.

  • Jan

    The gaming companies are whistling past the graveyard. Some of the sweeps parlors were incredibly lucrative and it is not because people were buying phone cards from them. The appearance and experience of gambling is what caused people to spend hours spending their last nickel in these placers, and if they taek that away, they take away the draw that brings in the money in the first place.

    One of the operators told me yesterday that they are re-programming to an “instant reveal” that will tell them as soon as they put the card in whether they’ve won. While that certainly will avoid the “entertaining display” that the law prevents, no one will pay for phone cards to do that.

    The simple fact is that the sweeps parlors are simply an effort to provide a form of gambling and they only work because they replicate the experience of video gaming. There’s no way the state is going to allow that and there is no way that what amounts to a video version of a scratch off ticket is going to attract the video gamblers.

    And meanwhile, NC A.L.E. will probably lock up the places that try it, in order to finally squash them. If they can hurt them economically while they challenge the law based on new games, they have the best chance to kill off the businesses. Odds are they will try to do that.

February 2016
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