Lawsuit Filed Against State Of North Carolina

Video poker machine owners sued the state of North Carolina in Raleigh on Friday, Sept. 15. The poker machine owners are contesting a law that aims to phase out the machines by summer of next year.

Member companies and players of the North Carolina Amusement Machine Association say that the poker machine ban is unconstitutional for the reason that it denies the owners of the machines compensation for their properties.

The prohibition is set to take effect Oct. 1 and will entail an anticipated loss of illionrs of dollars for the amusement machine business and the convenience stores that legally operate the machines, according to Dan Boyce, one of the lawyers who represent the plaintiffs.

The General Asembly likewise created a state lottery thar permits gambling to generate profits for the state and out-of-state vendor GTECH Corp., said Boyce.

"The attorney general believes the law is constitutional and that it is also good public policy," spokeswoman Melissa Lovell said.

The number of machines in all locations would be reduced to two by Oct. 1 under the new law, to be further reduced to one by the first of March next year, then zero come July 1. Repeat offenders or operators who will be caught with five or more machines would be guilty of a felony.

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