North Carolina Bans “Electronic” Sweepstakes

Last week, according to the Promotions Marketing Association, state legislators in North Carolina ratified House Bill 80, which bans the “use of electronic machines and devices for sweepstakes purposes.”

The bill is intended to fully foreclose the use of video poker machines (and other gambling machines); the language contained in previously passed legislation presented a loophole: sponsors could still offer “sweepstakes” using the gambling machines (free method of entry), but still entice players to use a pay-to-play options for betting.

The bill specifically excludes consumer-owned electronic devices that could be used to enter sweepstakes, such as home computers, mobile smart phones, and mobile phones.

Practice Note: Video Poker is considered a “game of skill” in some states, and a “game of chance” in other states. Clients should seek careful legal analysis relating to online poker before setting out gaming machines or creating an interactive internet presence.

Click here for text of bill.

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