Thursday, June 08, 2006, 11:18 AM

North Carolina General Assembly Passes Bill To Phase-Out Video Poker Machines

On June 6, 2006, the North Carolina General Assembly ratified a bill that would lead to the eventual ban of video poker machines in North Carolina. Instead of enacting a complete ban on video poker, the Senate approved a compromise bill proposed by House Speaker Jim Black which phases-out video poker machines in North Carolina over the next year. The bill was presented to the Governor, who is expected to sign it. (UPDATE 6/12/06 -- The Governor has signed the Video Poker Legislation as approved by the Senate).

The phase-out period is as follows: (1) On October 1, 2006, it will be unlawful to operate more than two existing video gaming machines; (2) On March 1, 2007, it will be unlawful to operate more than one existing video gaming machine; (3) on July 1, 2007, it will be unlawful to operate any video gaming machine. There are exceptions for video gaming machines operated in accordance with a Class III Tribal State Compact. This exception is intended to allow the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to keep video gambling machines at their casino. Speaker Black says the exception for tribal gaming could lead to a lawsuit invalidating the ban. The last sentence of the bill reads: "If a final Order by a count of competent jurisdiction prohibits possession or operation of video gaming machines by a federally recognized Indian tribe because that activity is not allowed elsewhere in this State, this act is void."

Keep checking this blog for more updates on the phase-out. You can read more about the bill here and view the text of the bill here.


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