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N.C. Judge Denies TRO Request On Video Poker Ban

A Superior Court judge denied granting a request Thursday, Sept. 28 from video poker operators who are seeking to block the first phase of implementation of a state ban on video poker machines. The ban is set to take effect Oct. 1, according to a spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice.

A class action lawsuit has been filed by the North Carolina Amusement Machine Association, many of its member companies and some video poker players, deeming the law unconstitutional. They asked Wake County Judge Narley Cashwell earlier in the week to issue a temporary restraining order that will prevent the law from taking effect while the lawsuit the group has filed is still pending.

The group is questioning the constitutionality of the video poker ban that was passed in June. Starting Sunday, it would require the number of machines in any one business to be reduced from two from three. The number will further be reduced to just one on March 2007, followed by a total ban on July first. Repeat offenders or those who will be caught with five or more machines will be found guilty of a felony.

Cashwell heard arguments from both the defendants and the plaintiffs on Wednesday, Sept. 27. The judge denied the request the day after, said Noelle Talley, spokeswoman with the North Carolina Department of Justice.



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