WWAY TV 3
North Carolina's senators want to get rid of video poker. Thursday they unanimously passed a bill banning the games state-wide.
Now the bill goes to the house where it has died four times before.
There are more than 10,000 video poker machines statewide -- 300 in New Hanover and nearly 100 more in Brunswick County.
Once again a local state senator says they've got to go.
Duplin County Sen. Charles Albertson is behind the move. He says there's just no reasonable way to regulate the games. He says they attract a criminal element.
The state's sheriffs agree. All 100 have signed petitions to see the machines banned.
Brunswick County Sheriff Ron Hewitt says just a few days ago an illegal Fayetteville video poker parlor was found with $1 million in cash. He says the games are a major money maker for organized crime.
Sheriff Hewitt said, "They claim that they're small mom and pop businesses. How many small mom and pop businesses can you get together and find $1 million cash on a given day?"
He says the state's sheriffs are once again pushing the legislature to ban the machines.
Similar attempts have failed in the state house the past four years.
Despite attacks from law enforcement some video gaming establishments say they're operating 100 percent legally and believe they should be left alone.
Most anything that you can make money with will attract criminals, including politics, so I have to disagree with this messure. If you catch someone breaking the law, bust them but don't limit law abidding citizens also. I think maybe they just don't want any competion against the lottery.