Action Alerts | Gambling

NC Family Urges State Lottery Commission to Reject Online Video Gambling

NC Family is yet again urging the North Carolina Lottery Commission to reject a proposal that would add online video gambling to the lottery’s offerings, and we need you to join us in this effort. (Keep reading to find out how.) “Digital Instants” is a form of Internet gambling that closely mimics video poker and video sweepstakes but is operated under the auspices of the lottery. The Lottery Commission, which discussed a similar proposal in 2017, was scheduled to consider the approval of Digital Instants at its quarterly meeting last week on December 3.

“In essence, the approval of Digital Instants would bring video sweepstakes gambling to every mobile phone, mobile device, and home computer in our state,” said NC Family President John L. Rustin in a December 1, 2019 letter to Lottery Commission members.

“Online video gambling of this sort is particularly addictive and will result in higher levels of pathological and problem gambling among North Carolina citizens,” Rustin told the Commission. “Decades of research clearly demonstrates that individuals battling a gambling addiction experience higher levels of crime, embezzlement, personal bankruptcy, domestic violence, child abuse, divorce, and even suicide. The addition of Digital Instants by the NC Lottery Commission would inevitably lead to increases in these areas bringing greater harms to North Carolina families and communities.”

The proposal would allow a player to deposit over $500 a day, $2,000 a week, and $4,000 a month (that’s $48,000 a year!) into their online lottery account, according to information provided by lottery staff at a meeting on November 5. Just like highly addictive video poker machines in gambling casinos, these games are designed to entice players to play faster, longer, and more frequently in order to maximize revenue to the lottery (and consequently, losses to the citizens of the state).

Fortunately, the Lottery Commission delayed a decision on Digital Instants, but directed lottery staff to come back to the Commission before its March meeting with a comprehensive business plan, a timeline for initiation, and more detailed financial data. In short, the Commission could take action on Digital Instants at any time, and they need to hear from you! 

What You Can Do:  Below are the email addresses for the members of the N.C. Lottery Commission. Please email these members and express your opposition to the implementation of Digital Instants in North Carolina!

N.C. Lottery Commission Members:

Mr. Courtney Crowder, Chairman:

Mr. Richard (Buddy) Bengel:

Mr. Nick Picerno:

Mr. Morgan Beam:

Mr. Jody Tyson:

Sheriff Chris Shew:

Mr. Jason Roth:

Mr. Randy Jones:

Thank You!


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