RALEIGH, USA: A new statewide poll released today by Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh based public research and polling company, shows overwhelming voter support for legislation to oversee, regulate and tax video gaming in North Carolina.
Key poll findings:
* 79 percent of most likely voters in North Carolina told pollsters the state should regulate and tax video gaming to provide additional money for underfunded schools and classroom teachers.
* 75 percent of voters said they supported legislation that would tax video gaming providing nearly $500 million without raising taxes.
* 73 percent of the respondents said they saw no difference between playing the lottery and playing video poker.
* 76 percent of voters said the Governor and Legislature should support regulation and taxation of video gaming in North Carolina.
* 70 percent of voters said the state needs to provide oversight, regulation and tax video gaming to avoid political scandal and corruption.
"The voters know video gaming is alive and well in the state. If you want to clean up the video gaming industry then you need to regulate it and tax it," said William Thevaos, president of the Entertainment Group of NC. "Clearly, voters in North Carolina agree with the Entertainment Group of North Carolina."
"Voters realize the state can collect nearly $500 million in new revenue without raising taxes by regulating the video gaming industry. The time is here, we need to provide our citizens with accountability, oversight and transparency," he said.
"We are asking the Governor and Legislature to join with us in a partnership to provide a new revenue stream to the state without raising taxes. We are asking for regulation because we know you must have oversight and structure if you want to clean up the video gaming industry," he added.
"There are two video sweepstakes centers within two miles of the State Capitol Building. Three Superior Court Judges have validated video gaming in the state. Video gaming is alive and growing in the state. We want the General Assembly to work with us to make sure the state collects the revenue and there is regulation, oversight and accountability in this industry," said Thevaos.
"If the Governor and General Assembly do nothing, they are leaving millions of dollars on the table," he concluded.