North Carolina Appeals Court Tackles Two Video Game-Style Gambling Cases

October 25, 2011 -

The North Carolina Court of Appeals has scheduled oral arguments today on two lawsuits related to casino-style video games. This comes after two different trial court judges gave different answers last year to the legality of a 2010 law approved by the North Carolina General Assembly. The mixed message delivered by the courts is confusing everyone - from law enforcement to business owners who want to offer their customers access to the machines. Advocates for the law said the change was necessary to end the use of "casino-style video games" that were taking money from citizens three years after a ban on traditional video poker machines in the state took effect.

A Wake County judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by an amusement machine company and upheld the law designed to eliminate video and Internet-based sweepstakes games. Another judge - this time in Guilford County, struck down a portion of the sweepstakes ban as too broad and violation of the First Amendment.

Now it's up to a three-judge panel, which will spend up to two hours hearing arguments in each case. The appellate judges likely won't rule for weeks or months on the cases. Some believe that the fight could end up going all the way to the state's supreme court depending on how the Appeals Court rules.

Of course, the state Attorney General's Office is defending the state in both cases, and asking the panel to uphold the law, which took effect last Dec. 1.

In the Guilford County case, Hest Technologies and International Internet Technologies software sued the state. They market long-distance phone and Internet services that are sold at outlets across the state. They say the computer games they use are a marketing gimmick, not gambling, which allow customers to uncover potential cash and prizes by clicking on computer screens.

Attorneys for the companies said in a court filing that the appeals court should throw out the entire 2010 law because it actually criminalizes "story-driven, arcade-style video games that are wholly unrelated to gambling."

In the Wake County case, Sandhill Amusements argued the 2010 law made it illegal for the company to use video games to show the results of a sweepstakes related to sales of long-distance phone time.

State attorneys told police and sheriff's deputies to enforce only parts of the law that were upheld by both trial judges — and closing down casino-style games and those "not dependent on the skill or dexterity of the player." Other sweepstakes outlets or retailers continued to operate in the days following by replacing slots and Pot-o-Gold with cartoon-style games.

We will have more on this story as it develops.

Source: The Republic

Image provided by Shutterstock. All rights reserved.


 
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Matthew WilsonThis is a interesting long form article about xbox live since halo 2. http://www.polygon.com/a/the-second-generation-of-xbox-live/page-102/26/2015 - 6:01pm
ConsterJust take pride in joining the group of net neutrality nations, even if it's only temporarily.02/26/2015 - 1:24pm
Matthew Wilsonfcc passed net neutrality. now lets hope they dont screw up the details. ps I am not holding my breath on that one.02/26/2015 - 1:03pm
ZippyDSMleeIf I could stand blizz I would do what I do in Facebook and use zippy, they can screw off if they do not like it.02/26/2015 - 9:31am
Michael ChandraAh. Now THIS is a good reason to not want to enable RealID: Anyone with your email can try adding you as a friend, leading to complications if they find out you're using it but declining their request.02/26/2015 - 5:15am
Michael Chandra(Also, why the hell would you not announce this?? Now people think they got a bug.)02/26/2015 - 5:11am
Michael ChandraThe only argument against the second that I've read so far is 'I'm afraid I'd accidentally RealID instead of BattleTag someone'. How secure are the RealID databases anyway?02/26/2015 - 5:10am
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Michael ChandraGot to love how people immediately bring up 'yeah I don't see a problem with using my real name, it's not as if people can find me with it'. Maybe not you, but that doesn't mean others cannot be found.02/26/2015 - 5:08am
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ZippyDSMleeWhy do they have billing account name and user name confused? Never understood that....02/26/2015 - 3:29am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-25/google-s-computers-learn-to-play-video-games-by-themselves that is fairly impressive.02/25/2015 - 9:21pm
MechaCrashA universal ID among all of your characters across all games is a good idea. Making it use your real name instead of a screen name of your choosing is a horrible idea.02/25/2015 - 5:45pm
Michael ChandraThey also said posting on the forums was optional. To be honest, I really do NOT get why you'd introduce a new feature, brag about it and then secretly put a lock on it.02/25/2015 - 4:52pm
InfophileTwitter integration is a lot more optional than the forums (which was the last place they tried to enforce real names). So I don't see the backlash being as strong this time, especially since they aren't adding the requirement to an existing service02/25/2015 - 12:59pm
Michael ChandraIn the Real ID info, it's an optional thing for friends. Enforcing its usage for tweeting seems rather unnecessary.02/25/2015 - 12:14pm
ZippyDSMleenothing like a a few crashes inbetween moveing 400gb of data....02/25/2015 - 12:09pm
Michael ChandraOkay, so Blizzard's memory officially only goes back four years, as they cannot remember the backlash last time they tried forcing people to use their real names.02/25/2015 - 12:09pm
IvresseOnly context I can provide at the moment is the response from Blizz customer service: https://twitter.com/BlizzardCSEU_EN/status/57060293549676544402/25/2015 - 11:31am
PHX Corp@Craig R. I'm still testing Windows 10 Technical Preview as a consumer in advance of the final build02/25/2015 - 11:30am
 

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