Garner: Opinion

Editorial: Glad to see parlors go

It’s taken a long, long time, but it appears Johnston County may have finally rid itself of the gaming parlors that brought little value to the communities in which they were located.

The gaming parlors – you can decide if they were a form of gambling or not – served no significant commercial purpose, but they did attract customers hoping to strike it rich while playing on a computer.

The nature of those businesses is clear to lawmakers who saw them as illegal gambling outfits and wanted to shut them down. We realize that move was, frankly, a little bit of self-preservation because it surely took a bite out of the state’s lottery revenues.

But any outfit – including the popular N.C. Education Lottery – that promotes games of chance, really serves very little useful purpose in our eyes. And we are glad to see them go.

In the case of the gaming parlors, there was much confusion about whether they could operate legitimately. Attorney General Roy Cooper made it clear some time ago that the law was intended as something of a cease and desist order.

In Johnston County, for some time, the law enforcement community did little to enforce that law and parlors that shut down at one point actually reopened. Now the Johnston County District Attorney’s office has spoken up and said it plans to prosecute those organizations that continue to operate.

That threat has had the desired impact legislators gave voice to some time ago.

And all the rest of Johnston County is better off for it.

There remains a powerful lobby in place for the Internet gaming lobby and, to be sure, they will continue to encourage legislators to revisit the issue and find ways to let them operate their businesses here legitimately. We trust those lawmakers will do their best to avoid such specious arguments and will let the Internet gaming industry die a quiet death.