The state House concurred with a Senate bill to ban Internet sweepstakes parlors by a vote of 86-27. The ban takes effect in December.
Members of the House Black Caucus argued against the ban. They want to regulate and tax the games. Democratic Representative Marvin Lucas said it was an attempt to legislate morality. He said it was inconsistent since the State Education Lottery is gambling.
Democrat Earl Jones said there were 10,000 jobs and 600 businesses at risk, though a couple of members questioned those numbers. Jones claimed most of the calls to gambling addiction centers concerned the lottery. But Democratic Representative Ray Rapp said he heard most of the calls to national centers dealt with sweepstakes.
Democratic lawmaker Earline Parmon said the ban would cost her city of Winston-Salem nearly $500,000 in revenue.
Republican House leader Skip Stam said if the games were banned the money would still be spent and taxed in other ways. He and other lawmakers said they heard many Mayors and law enforcement officials ask them to ban the games.