In a ruling handed down this morning, the state Supreme Court found that the state ban on video sweepstakes machines is constitutional, reversing a 2-1 decision of the Court of Appeals.
Writing for the court, Justice Robin Hudson said:
In an effort to curtail the use of a perceived loophole in the State’s gambling
laws, the General Assembly passed N.C.G.S. § 14-306.4, which bans the operation of
electronic machines that conduct sweepstakes through the use of an “entertaining
display.” See N.C.G.S. § 14-306.4(b) (2011). Claiming an unconstitutional
restriction on their freedom of speech, plaintiffs challenged the new law. The Court
of Appeals declared the statute an overbroad restriction on protected speech and
struck it down as unconstitutional. We conclude that this legislation regulates
conduct and not protected speech and now reverse.