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.