North Carolina Video Gambling Ban Passes
As reported by the Charlotte Observer: "State senators voted Monday to end video poker gambling throughout most of North Carolina next year, ending a seven-year battle to rid the state of a form of gambling that opponents have described as a scourge. "'If you have a cause you believe in, stick with it,' said Sen. Charlie Albertson, D-Duplin, who has led the Senate fight against the gaming machines. The proposal he endorsed bans video poker everywhere except casinos on Cherokee land. "Senators have made banning video poker a mission -- voting to rid the state of the gambling machines five times since 2000, the year South Carolina banned them. After each of the first four votes, those senators ran into opposition from Mecklenburg's most powerful lawmaker, House Speaker Jim Black.
"Black, a Matthews Democrat, capitulated a few weeks ago as another form of gambling -- a state lottery -- has taken off and as the speaker's political fortunes have waned.
".A compromise Black proposed two weeks ago will force video poker operators to sell some of their machines every four months and have all of them out of the state by July 2007. A Senate plan proposed earlier this year would have rid the state of all the machines by December.
".The bill now goes to Gov. Mike Easley, who is expected to sign it."