NC sweepstakes bill getting another hearing

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A bill that would regulate and tax video sweepstakes operations in North Carolina got another hearing in a state House committee, but its future still seems bleak as the General Assembly winds down work for the year.

The House Finance Committee met Tuesday to consider again bipartisan-backed legislation to establish state privilege taxes on sweepstakes establishments and machines. Most proceeds would be used to reduce required school district spending cuts.

Machine regulations would expire in April so that they could be altered depending on any state Supreme Court ruling on the legality of the machines.

Democratic Rep. Bill Owens of Elizabeth City said he'd like a vote on the measure Wednesday, but Republican committee chairwoman Julia Howard says there are no future scheduled panel meetings. Many legislators oppose the machines.

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