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 In the News, June 24, 2010 

ABC SYSTEM

N.C. House approves ABC reform bill after study. The state House on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved reforms to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control system, including setting limits on salaries for ABC employees and requiring local boards to enact nepotism policies. The legislation, approved 110-1 after a short floor debate, will be sent to the Senate for consideration. "This bill causes great oversight on the local ABC boards," said Rep. Ray Warren, D-Alexander, who sponsored the House bill.

 

ETHICS

Senate panel approves package of ethics reforms. A judiciary committee in the North Carolina Senate approved a package of ethics law changes and campaign finance and government reforms Tuesday that includes ideas from House members, Gov. Beverly Perdue and good-government advocates. "It's wonderful to see this moving," said Jane Pinsky, director of the North Carolina Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform. "It's a significant first step, with some things on the edges that need to be fine-tuned."

 

SWEEPSTAKES CAFES

Archdale amends ordinance on electronic gaming operations. The Archdale City Council on Tuesday night voted unanimously to put tighter restrictions on future businesses that have video poker and other electronic gaming operations. City officials decided to take a look at putting tighter restrictions on Archdale's zoning ordinance concerning electronic gaming operations because those businesses have grown quickly as a popular land use across the state. The text amendments limit the hours of operation and where future businesses can locate. Archdale's zoning ordinance defines electronic gaming operations as businesses where people can utilize electronic machines to conduct games of chance, including sweepstakes, where cash, merchandise or other items of value are redeemed and distributed. Electronic gaming operations may include internet cafes, internet sweepstakes and electronic gaming machines/operations.

Senate moves to ban cafes. Tavanda Eaves says she will be out of work if the N.C. General Assembly tightens a legal loophole and effectively banishes electronic sweepstakes games from the state. The state Senate was expected to OK the ban Monday night. It was unclear when the ban would take effect. Asked about the potential impacts of the loophole-tightening initiative, Internet café employee Eaves said, “A lot of us will lose our jobs, for one,” suggesting the business would shut down.

Hendersonville leaders say gaming ban is misguided. Hendersonville leaders agree with a state Senate bill that bans electronic sweepstakes machines, while business owners feel abused. The Senate passed the bill by a margin of 47 to 1 Monday night, a news release issued by legislators Tuesday said. The House is expected to take up the measure in the near future. House Bill 80 would prohibit electronic machines and other devices used for sweepstakes activities in the state, according to the news release. In Hendersonville alone, there are 21 businesses that offer the machines, according to city staff.