Friday March 8, 2013 :  NORTH CAROLINA ON THE WARPATH AGAINST INTERNET CASINOS
 
Legislation against Internet gambling cafes to be more specific
 
Internet cafe operators who offer sweepstakes style online gambling in North Carolina, especially along the US 441 corridor, will find life more difficult as the state comes up with more specific legalization against their activities.
 
Jackson County commissioners are considering more detailed laws following a decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court, which in December last year upheld the state’s ban on Internet sweepstakes machines.
 
Two Internet gambling establishments on U.S. 441 shut down, as did other operators in Jackson County following the decision, but in other areas along the route, sweepstakes operators continue to do business, claiming they have new machines with new games that don’t violate state law.
 
“They’re like a zombie that cannot be killed,” County Planning Director Gerald Green told the commissioners at a meeting last week.
 
New laws will permanently ban Internet gambling parlours from the U.S. 441 corridor, slamming the door shut on those internet businesses seeking new ways to circumvent the court’s rulings, reports the Associated Press news agency.
 
The planning board has already unanimously passed an amendment to the U.S. 441 Corridor Development Ordinance, which governs development along the highway in the Qualla area.
 
That amendment specifically defines an Internet parlour, video sweepstakes operation or cafe as any establishment that:
 
• Is established for the purpose of providing Internet gaming services.
 
• Utilises Internet-based gaming to facilitate said services to patrons.
 
• Patrons purchase Internet or phone minutes in order to play games that are based on random chance.
 
• Games offered at the establishment require no physical or mental dexterity; a winning game can only be achieved through statistically random means.
 
• Games offer the opportunity for patrons to gain money through the means of using Internet or phone minutes as tools to achieve acquisition.
 
• When earnings are achieved, the patron is given the opportunity to sell back acquired minutes to the vendor, who in turn gives currency back to the player. The establishment makes a profit from patrons losing money through the means of Internet and phone minutes.
 
Director Green said that there had been three community meetings in which residents in the area clearly indicated they did not want the Internet gambling businesses operating in the region.