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NC supreme court outlaws video sweepstakes machines

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Dec 18 2012 06:23:13 PM CST

Sweepstakes businesses in our state may be closing up shop starting Jan. 3 due to the banning of video sweepstakes machines.

On Dec. 14, the state supreme court unanimously upheld a state law banning video sweepstakes. The decision reverses a state court of appeals ruling that found the ban unconstitutional.

The state supreme court ruled on two cases that sought to overturn a 2010 law, banning the sweepstakes machines as a form of gambling.

The North Carolina supreme court said the law is a constitutional effort to close a loophole since the state banned video poker machines in 2007.

NewsChannel 12 spoke with Pitt County Sheriff Neil Elks about the new law and Connie Langley, a sweepstakes cafe owner who said she has put everything she owns into her business.

"At some point in time it will be our job to enforce the law and we're waiting to get a ruling from the attorney general's office on that action. Do we send them notice.  do we send them certified mail or do we just walk in and take possession of the machines if they are still operating," Sheriff Neil Elks said.

"It's just heartbreaking. It's heartbreaking to me because it's basically taking every bit of income out of my household," Connie Langley, owner of Pirate's Loot Sweepstakes said.

Some said the recent ruling may be challenged on a federal level.