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Sweepstakes ban enforcement begins; company says its games are legal

The N.C. Sheriff's Association sent a reminder to all sheriffs today reminding them that they can begin enforcing the ban on sweepstakes games today.

The memo includes a recommendation to ask for legal advice if sheriffs have questions about the legality of certain machines.

The state Supreme Court upheld a 2010 law banning video sweepstakes. An industry representative said when the decision was announced last month that businesses would change their software or businesses models, as they had in the past, to stay within the law.

Morning Roundup: Little known law benefits UNC Health Care

A little-known law, the Set Off Debt Collection Act, allows state and local agencies to collect debts by seizing state tax returns and lottery winnings. The law has been good to UNC Health Care. Last year, UNC Hospitals collected $5.7 million, while UNC Physicians and Associates collected $2 million. Read more here.

More political headlines:

--Departing from this uber-optimism from the campaign trail, Pat McCrory gave a sobering assessment of the economy and the challenges ahead.

Governor signs sweepstakes ban into law

Gov. Bev Perdue signed the sweepstakes ban into law this afternoon. There was no public ceremony for the signing of the controversial bill, which passed the legislature earlier this month.

The law, which will go into effect Dec. 1, will make illegal the games played on computer screens that feature slot machine interfaces or hands of video poker. The games had been legal because they had predetermined outcomes.

The sweepstakes industry had waged a fierce fight against the ban, saying the law would put 900 parlors out of business and cause the loss of 10,000 jobs across the state. The industry had asked Perdue not to sign the bill, saying the industry could easily generate $500 million a year in tax revenue – money the state desperately needs right now.

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