RALEIGH – A new Cherokee Gaming Compact under consideration by the Governor and State Legislature will expand legal gaming in North Carolina and should open the door for a regulated video sweepstakes industry says Chase Brooks, president of the Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization of North Carolina. “We are pleased to see the Cherokee nation will contribute a percentage of their new ‘live-dealer’ games to the State of North Carolina,” says Brooks.
“That will be a windfall for the state’s treasury. A new compact will also create new jobs and economic opportunity for western North Carolina. It will also put the Legislature and the Governor on record supporting new gaming rights and regulations,” said Brooks.
“As the Governor and Legislature looks at new gaming rights for the Cherokee, we want them to take a second look at the video sweepstakes industry. The Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization continues to support legislation that would regulate the industry and provide a new stream of reliable tax revenue to the state of North Carolina,” said Brooks.
“The IBSO supports new gaming rights for the Cherokee, but we also support a regulated video sweepstakes industry that protects consumers and provides operators a clear-cut regulatory guideline,” said Brooks. “It’s great the Cherokee will be getting dice games, roulette and live poker dealers, but what about the people who can’t afford the $1000 it takes to drive to the mountains, stay in a hotel and go to the casino? What about the consumer who wants to play $20 and have a good time right at home?”
Brooks said more than 90 percent of the video sweepstakes industry in North Carolina is now compliant with the new state law passed in 2010. Brooks said the pending State Court of Appeals ruling challenging the new law will be virtually irrelevant because the video industry has changed their software systems to comply with the new elements of the state’s 2010 law.
“We have taken the steps to meet the letter and the spirit of the new law. We have adapted our software systems and we will be prepared to meet that legal challenge if it comes in the future,” said Brooks.
“Our message is simple, we will find a way to survive. There is a valid market for this type of gaming and entertainment. We will adopt to the law and we will continue to operate,” said Brooks. “We think it is time for the leaders of the state to work with the video entertainment industry to find ways to regulate it and do like they are doing in Cherokee, tax it to generate new revenues with it.”
PROPOSED CHEROKEE COMPACT WILL EXPAND GAMING RIGHTS IN NC
· An Associated Press news report indicated last week that the State Legislature will review an expanded gaming compact for the Cherokee nation in Jackson County, North Carolina. The expanded compact will allow the Cherokee Indians to have dice games, roulette and live poker dealers in their casino operations in Cherokee, North Carolina.
· The Eastern Band of Cherokee will provide up to 8.25% of all revenues from the new gaming rights back to the State of North Carolina. This could provide more than $50 million a year in new revenue for the state of North Carolina.
· This is the first time since the opening of video poker casino that the Cherokee nation has agreed to provide a portion of their revenues back to the State of North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee is a sovereign nation under the Indian Treaty Act of 1886.
· The new Cherokee Casino compact will be historic because it will mark the first time that state elected officials and the State Legislature have endorsed full casino gaming rights with Vegas style games of chance for citizens of the State of North Carolina.
· The Internet Based Sweepstake Organization supports the expanded Gaming Compact for the Cherokee nation and urges the State Legislature to revisit regulation of the video sweepstake industry.
· In 2008, the State Legislature revised state law governing video sweepstake games in the state. There is a current case involving the old software programs that governed much of the industry in 2009.
· Today, more than 90% of all video sweepstake operators in the State of North Carolina have changed their software systems to comply with the 2009 law passed by the General Assembly. The current case on review by the N.C. Court of Appeals will not have any bearing on today’s operations and software systems.
· The Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization supports state regulation in order to provide state oversight, guidance and enforcement. A regulated video gaming industry in North Carolina would protect consumers and would provide a reliable revenue stream for the State of North Carolina.
· During the past three years, the video sweepstakes industry has been compliant with state laws and efforts to shut down the industry have not been successful. If state lawmakers had regulated the video sweepstakes and gaming industry across North Carolina in 2009, the state could have collected nearly $750 million in those three years. That’s revenue that could have offset major spending cuts to the university system and our public schools.
· As the state proceeds to expand gaming options in North Carolina, the Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization stands ready to work with the Governor, her staff and our state lawmakers to regulate and tax the video gaming industry. It’s a good deal for the Cherokee. It will be a good deal for all of North Carolina.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CONTACT:
Chase Brooks, President (336) 740-0709
Brad Crone, Spokesman (919) 834-8994
The Internet Based Sweepstakes Organization of North Carolina is a statewide advocacy organization promoting the interests of the video sweepstakes operators, employees and businesses. Since 2008, IBSO has been working to advance the causes and concerns of independent business people who make their living working in the video sweepstakes industry. IBSO represents more than 800 video sweepstakes businesses located across the state with more than 5,600 full and part time employees.