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Paul Woolverton of the Fayetteville Observer has an excellent story this morning about the House’s all-of-a-sudden flirtation with legalzing and regulating “sweepstakes” gambling parlors. We’ll have more later today about this idea in the Weekly Briefing, but most of what you need to know about this whole “industry” was revealed yesterday by Woolverton as he tweeted about the committee meeting in real time.

During the hearing, bill sponsor, Rep. Bill Owens, was asked about the idea of expanding legalized gambling in the state. Here was his response as tweeted by Woolverton:

“It’s not really gambling, it’s predetermined you’re going to lose.”

Great! That sounds like a fine new business for the state to bless.  

 

 

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Guess which group of predatory businesses (according to this very sobering story in Bloomberg Businessweek)  are, à la the gambling industry, using Indian tribes as a way of getting around state consumer protection laws?

Why it’s the bottom-feeding payday lender crowd!!

Sounds like the introduction of casino gambling into the state might just be the first of many more fun ways to bring the true genius of the unfettered free market to the Old North State.

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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.