As the 2017 Session of the NC General Assembly begins to wind down toward adjournment, efforts to expand gambling in the Old North State are increasing with the rising summer heat. Bills that would legalize online Daily Fantasy Sports gambling; enable nonprofits to hold Las Vegas-style casino nights for fundraising (complete with alcohol); and authorize the state lottery to double the amount it spends on advertising, are all on the move.
Please join NC Family as we urge our state lawmakers to reject these dangerous bills! You can easily send an email to your members of the State House and State Senate by visiting the NC Family Action Center RIGHT NOW!
Here is a quick update on the status of each of these bills:
Daily Fantasy Sports Gambling: Despite the fact that HB 279–Fantasy Sports Regulation was defeated by a vote of 4-7 in the House Regulatory Reform Committee on May 17, the online Daily Fantasy Sports gambling industry is working hard to get their currently illegal operations legalized in North Carolina. On June 7, HB 279 was pulled from the House Regulatory Reform Committee and re-referred to the House Judiciary IV Committee, which is a clear indication that efforts are being made to resurrect this bill in the House. A similar bill, SB 589, resides in the Senate Commerce & Insurance Committee and could see action at any time. Read more about the harm these proposals would bring to North Carolina in our May 17 post about HB 279, and go to the NC Family Action Center to urge your state lawmakers to oppose these bills.
Nonprofit Casino “Game Nights”: HB 511–Game Nights/Nonprofit Fund-Raiser passed the House by a 78-38 vote on June 7 and has been referred to the Senate Rules Committee. This bill would allow charitable, nonprofit organizations throughout the state to host Las Vegas-style casino “game nights” as fundraising events complete with alcohol. This would produce an uneven playing field between charities, especially those whose mission is to serve individuals battling alcohol, drug, gambling or other addictions. It would also lead to a proliferation of commercial gambling enterprises that provide gambling equipment and trained staff to operate casino “game nights.” Finally, the bill would allow employers, trade associations, and private individuals to hold casino nights without registration or restriction, bringing legalized gambling into homes and businesses across North Carolina. Please help NC Family stand against this innocuous sounding but truly troubling bill by emailing your State Senator today!
Lottery Advertising: The budget bill proposed by the State Senate includes a provision that would allow the North Carolina Lottery to double the amount it spends on advertising. This would mean the lottery could spend up to $46 million during the 2017-2018 fiscal year to entice citizens to gamble on the lottery. The State House did not include a similar provision in its version of the budget, so a final decision on this matter will be made in the conference committee that is working to iron out differences between the two chambers’ versions of SB 257–Appropriations Act of 2017. You can urge your State House and Senate members to oppose doubling the lottery advertising budget by sending an email to them via the NC Family Action Center.
Please TAKE ACTION NOW, and Thank You!