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NC House members are expected to vote Tuesday on legislation that would allow live dealers at the Cherokee Indian casino in western North Carolina. Last week, proponents called Senate Bill 582 a job creator, while critics opposed to gambling objected on moral grounds.

If the legislation wins approval, it will return to the Senate for a final vote.

House members will also hold second and third readings on a bill that would pay $50,000 to each living victims of North Carolina’s forced sterilization program. House Bill 947 enjoys strong support from the House leadership, though its future is less certain in the state Senate.

To hear some of last week’s debate over Vegas-style gambling at Cherokee, click below:

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Recent Policy Watch Crucial Conversation headliner Les Bernal of the national Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation is out with a press release that includes a truly remarkable and sobering statistic this afternoon that would, in any just world, greatly influence members of the North Carolina House has they vote tomorrow on a bill to approve a compact with Harrah’s and the Cherokee Tribe to introduce casino gambling to our state for the first time.

“In a review of casino job numbers from Illinois– state where Harrah’s has two casinos- Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation found there are almost 20% more citizens who have come forward to publicly ban themselves from the casinos because they are addicted – what gambling operators call the “self-exclusion list” – than there are citizens who work at the casinos in that state. The total enrollment of citizens in the state’s voluntary Self-Exclusion Program was 9,171 and the total number of full and part-time casino jobs was 7789.”

So much for the all those new and beneficial jobs for our state.

Now let’s keep it clean and reasonably civil, but we welcome your thoughts as to what the nation’s birther/gambler-in-chief was saying to the emabattled and rather casually dressed Speaker of the North Carolina House over the weekend at the North Carolina Republican Party shindig in Greensboro.

Do you still think of lotteries and casinos as essentially harmless enterprises? If so, you owe it to yourself to attend tomorow’s Crucial Conversation luncheon:When government promotes gambling: A budget solution or state sponsored exploitation?”

National expert Les Bernal of the nonprofit advocacy group, Stop Predatory Gambling will have some hair-raising stories to share that may cause you to reexamine some of your beliefs on this issue. Please join us for this important event.

Some seats are still available. register today. If you want to attend but not eat, are having trouble registering, or have any other questions, call Rob Schofield at 919-861-2065 or email me at rob@ncpolicywatch.com.

Hope to seee you tomorrow!

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The folks at Bloomberg News have just released their latest “sucker index” in which they rank state lotteries for how much they actually pay out in prizes in comparison ticket sales and state income. 

Interestingly, although North Carolinians spend less per capita on lottery tickets than a lot of the other 42 states with a lottery (we’re 23rd),  the state ranks pretty high on the sucker list — 16th out of 43.  That’s in large measure because the prize payouts here are so low (28th out of 43).

All of this probably explains Read More