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Perry 2018
David Perry for NC House
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Legalize Gambling

Legalize Gambling

Over the last 100 years, our government has convinced many Americans into falsely believing that the process of making and spending money is a privilege. As such, the government is totally free to regulate how we earn our money, and in what ways we can spend it. Of course anyone who has taken a rudimentary class in United States history knows that this idea is repugnant to the ideals of our Founding Fathers. The American Revolution was, in large part, fought over the desire of our founders for personal economic freedom.

We live in a state that is still considered part of the "Bible Belt." There still remains a contingent of conservative and dedicated Christians who feel that gambling is a sinful and irresponsible act. Of course, each individual in this country has a natural right to their religion, and the right to live in a manner that is consistent with their conscience. However, they don't have the authority to force others to abide by their morality. In fact, as a Christian myself, I believe that this sort of legalism is actually contrary to Christianity. We are endowed by God with free will, and to deny others the right to reject the path of virtue, is to act more like the Pharisees, rather than acting like Christ.

Unfortunately, there is still a large bloc of voters in this state who believe that it is the responsbility of government to "save us from ourselves." As a result, North Carolina has some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the country. According to the CATO Institute, our state is only ranked 32nd in the nation when it comes to gambling freedom. Considering that the North Carolina Lottery has dramatically expanded its operations in the last few years, this is a hypocritical, as well as a despicable, statistic.

Private gambling is strictly prohibited in the state. There are only two exceptions: 1) On Indian reservations - Harrahs runs a casino in Cherokee, in the far western section of the state; 2) Non-profit organizations may hold a raffle or run a Bingo game, with certain restrictions (like no alcohol being served). You may get away with a poker game between friends at your house, but technically it is illegal, and you can be charged with a crime, or even have your home seized.

However, in complete hypocrisy, North Carolina has no problem if you gamble on the state-run "Education Lottery." In fact, the state recently expanded its operations to include Keno at local bars and restaurants. Apparently they can't trust you to have a beer when you are playing Bingo for charity, but it's quite alright if you want to get drunk while playing Keno. There is no "ethical problem" so long as the state government gets your cash! (BTW - Only 30% of the profit generated by the lottery actually goes to education. Even then, the General Assembly gets to decide how to apportion that money.)

Finally, with historic downtown Wilington and the area's fantastic beaches, New Hanover County is a great place to vacation in. In fact tourism is an integral component of our local economy. However, we are in a competitive war with other states and localities for tourist dollars. Many places, like Tampa Bay, have augmented their tourist industry by allowing for casino gambling. The fact is that many travellers do like to augment their vacation with some time gambling. If New Hanover County wishes to remain in competition in the tourism industry, it makes sense to legalize casino gambling. The Supreme Court recently decided in Murphy vs. NCAA, to recognize the right of states to allow for sports betting. This decision should make counties ponder the possibility of allowing horse racing and sports betting, as an additional attraction to lure potential travellers to the area.

Under my "Legalize Local Liberty" initiative, counties, or its voters through a citizen initiated ballot measure, would be allowed to decide these issues for themselves. New Hanover County could decide that permitting non-profit organizations to organize poker tournaments or Monte Carlo nights, is in the best interests of all. Our county could decide to allow for a casino or race track to come to town. New Hanover County could recognize that it is unconscionable to charge its citizens with a crime for simply running a poker game in their living room!

Paid for by the Committee to Elect David A. Perry

© 2018 - Committee to Elect David A. Perry
235 Silver Sloop Way, Carolina Beach, NC 28428

Direct Legal Inquiries to: Christopher M. Nance, Treasurer
512 Martin Street, Carthage, NC 28327