Entertainment Group Advocates for Regulation - Not Banning Video Gaming

Jun 21, 2010, 11:20 ET from Entertainment Group of North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C., June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- With the state facing a huge budget deficit this year and next, it only makes sense to regulate and tax video gaming in the state, says William Thevaos, president of the Entertainment Group of North Carolina. "The state's already in the gaming business. It's called the NC Education Lottery. So it's a flimsy argument to say we're going to sell lottery tickets but shut down video sweepstake centers," said Thevaos.

"There is more than $500 million on the table in new revenue if the Legislature would only regulate and tax it. Those numbers come from the state, those aren't our numbers. The NC Education Lottery projects $576 million in new revenue if the state taxed video sweepstakes and video lottery terminals," said Thevaos. "That's coming from their own memo earlier this year."

"If the lawmakers really want to clean up the video gaming business, then they need to regulate it. We are asking for state oversight. We want the state to set the guidelines and protocols for every single operator. We want criminal background checks. We want electronic 24/7 monitoring and we support electronic transfer of funds so the state gets their money on a daily basis," said Thevaos.

"If the lawmakers are worried about people becoming addicted to video sweepstakes, then regulate it. We can provide training programs to center staff and operators to help those people who abuse the games and spend money they can't afford. We can set aside funds just like the lottery to promote gambling addiction hotlines, we want to be proactive and help those who need help," added Thevaos.

"When we're looking at laying off classroom teachers and state employees, when we are cutting funding for our community colleges and university system, it's doesn't make any sense for the state not to take advantage of the revenue potential  by regulating and taxing video gaming in the state.  Other states like Ohio and Illinois passed legislation this year and those states are projected more than $1.5 billion in revenue. It's a real revenue winner and we need to regulate it - not ban it," commented Thevaos.

SOURCE Entertainment Group of North Carolina