Va. Committee Votes to Ban Computer-Based Sweepstakes Games

February 1, 2011

A Senate committee has voted to ban computer-based sweepstakes games legislators say are illegal gambling in disguise.

The Senate Courts of Justice Committee voted 8-5 Monday to ban the games, which offer chances to win money for those who purchase
Internet time, phone cards or other items.

Supporters say the games have moved into Virginia since being banned in North Carolina last year. They say the operators target poor areas of the state.

Opponents argue the games are similar to fast food games in which someone who buys a hamburger could win money, food or other prizes.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has said it is gambling if the chance of winning comes in exchange for purchasing items that are generally not consumed.

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