My Turn, Your Turn: Video poker machines

By Gary McNair - bio|email

The camel has its nose under the tent and if someone doesn't stomp on it quickly, we're on our way to a huge gambling problem in North Carolina.

WECT's Max Winitz's report on sweepstakes parlors should be warning sign to all of us as to what could be coming to a neighborhood near you.  That will air Thursday night at 11.

I've seen it before.  In West Virginia they started out in the late 90s, known as "gray machines."  Not really legal - but not really illegal.  It was video poker, and they were starting to pop up everywhere.  State officials tried to get a handle on it by legalizing the activity and putting it under control of the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

And where did that get them?  In a big mess.  Now there are thousands of slot machines across the state and gambling parlors are everywhere.   A recent study indicates they have as many gambling addicts as they do slot machines and most of them feed their addiction at the local parlors.  Is putting extra money in the state coffers worth that amount of pain and misery?  I don't think so.

North Carolina lawmakers need to take a close look at what happened in West Virginia and it will become very clear we don't need a repeat performance here.  The gamble is just not worth it.

That's my turn.  Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at

Emailed response from viewers:

We don't need anything else to add to the falling economy and break up of families.  These machines are a legal way to gamble.  Gambling causes many problems, one being addicts.  The majority of these addicts end up in bankruptcy and/or family strain/divorce leaving more people homeless and jobless in turn causing the honest individuals to have to pay more out their pockets to support these people.  Take a look at Proverbs 10 in the Bible.

Spend  your money how you want, but when you're standing in the street holding up the "Will work for food" sign, remember who put you there.

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