Thursday, January 20, 2011

Why, Oh Why Are There Still Internet Sweepstakes Parlors?

Can you imagine a worse fate than allowing people to spend their money as they choose?

I'd try to contemplate it, but I'm busy trying to think of my "lucky numbers" for the government-run lottery.

Well, anyway, council member Ron Sparks and others (the resolution passed unanimously) are outraged that these taxpaying, job-supplying businesses are still allowed to continue in our city:

On December 1, 2010, the state of North Carolina said "game over" for sweepstakes parlors.

However, more than a month later, there still ten sweepstakes businesses operating 178 machines in Wilmington.

[...]Sparks explained a recent appeals court decision ruled certain games legal, despite last month's outright ban.

On the other hand, the ban the General Assembly had in mind may have worked to an extent. Several sweepstakes parlors in Wilmington have closed down, including Port City Players Sweepstakes off Market Street, where a "for rent" sign has been placed in the window.

Other parlors, however, have adapted to keep their doors open, including Sunset Bingo off Carolina Beach road in Wilmington.

[...]Miller closed two of her three gaming businesses when the ban went into effect. She just re-opened Port City Sweepstakes on Friday with new games.

When asked if the new games meet the spirit of the law, Miller hesitated but said, "I think so."

She explained that the games have been vetted by attorneys representing the game makers to make sure the law was properly deciphered.

"The intention of the legislation was to shut them down," said Sparks, who added that it could be six months before a solution is worked out by the court system.

Sparks has been an outspoken opponent of gambling cafes since they first began popping up in Wilmington. He says they tend to open up in poor neighborhoods and take advantage of people who are desperate for a win.

[...]In the meantime, no new permits for sweepstakes parlors will be handed out in Wilmington, and most of the cafes that are already established say they'll take their chances until they get a definitive answer from the courts or the state.
Does Sparks not think people, poor people get addicted to the lottery?

This attempted ban is ridiculous, as is the $3,000 fee per machine for every establishment that closes after 11 p.m.

If the council actually cares about people gambling, they should take the same steps against the government-run lottery that they've taken against these private businesses.

Moreover, what does Sparks think all these regulations, reduced competition, and lawyers' bills does to prices in these internet sweepstakes parlors? I can only imagine it increases them.

Now, how is that good for the poor?

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