MOYOCK, N.C. (WAVY/AP) - A North Carolina Supreme Court decision upholding a ban on video sweepstakes machines took effect statewide Thursday.
The state Supreme Court last month upheld a state law outlawing sweepstakes halls as gambling operations.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week rejected the sweepstakes game industry's request to block enforcement while businesses appealed to the country's highest court, a step expected by mid-March.
Enforcement of the video sweepstakes ban was expected to vary widely around the state. A spokesman for the Internet Based Sweepstakes Operators says 90 percent of the state's operators will close down voluntarily, with some reopening using different software and gaming options that will have to be tested with new court cases.
Video sweepstakes machines were a hit at "Southland."
"They have been popular in Moyock specifically just because of our location to the state line. I know that in Moyock alone there were eight or ten locations that were operating the sweepstakes software," said Southland General Manager Travis White.
Now the gambling machines feature out of order signs. Employees will get shifted to other jobs at the business.
In Grifton, the "Win Zone" internet sweepstakes closed its doors Monday.
Other owners are uncertain what steps to take, unsure how police plan to enforce the ban. "I'm sweating bullets. I'm still wondering what to do, how to do it, how to go about my business," explained Connie Langley, owner of Pirates Loot in Greenville.
The video sweepstakes machines are not allowed in Virginia.
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