Sweepstakes parlors multiply after court supports them

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's only been a month since the North Carolina Court of Appeals made sweepstakes parlors legal, and they're already spawning all over Charlotte.

They used to be back-door businesses, their shades always drawn - notorious loopholes to a law banning video poker.

But in 2010, state lawmakers tried to ban sweepstakes places too. Owners objected, and after years of conflict, judges ruled in March ruled that the new law was too broad.  They said it could be construed to ban video games too.

Fast forward thirty days, and now Woodlawn Road is starting to look like the Vegas strip.

"There's not such a black flag on it anymore," says Van Elliot, a parlor owner. "People aren't so uncomfortable about coming in and owners feel like, look, I'm operating a legitimate business."

He says in the past officials have been really critical.

"Look at prohibition," he says. "Alcohol. They didn't embrace that. But now it generates a lot of revenue for them. It also provides a lot of jobs."

And so could sweepstakes parlors. They could start becoming legitimate sources of revenue for the city, adding significant dollars to tax rolls.