COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT/AP) – Earlier this month, North Carolina's highest court said the state can outlaw video sweepstakes parlors because they don't have the same free speech protections given to video games.
The court ruled the state law regulates the conduct of playing the games, which opponents say feed the same gambling addictions as traditional video poker machines.
The video sweepstakes parlors argued winners are predetermined so gambling isn't involved, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year protecting video games applies to them.
Sheriff's offices across the state are waiting on advice from the Attorney General's Office to determine when enforcement can begin.
Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten said he will still talk with District Attorney Jon David before his agency starts enforcing laws at the sweepstakes parlors.
Batten said the parlors aren't causing problems in Columbus County, aside from some church groups complaining. Batten said, however, if it is law his agency will monitor them, which means the possibility of pulling some deputies off the streets.
Batten wants to reach out to all sweepstake parlor owners in the county to make sure they are aware of the law before his deputies barge into the businesses.
The Sheriff's Association expects an answer from the Attorney General's Office this week.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved. The AP contributed to this report.
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