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North Carolina lawmakers are discussing draft legislation designed to prohibit sales of lottery tickets to people who receive public assistance or who are in bankruptcy.
The Raleigh News and Observer reports that Rep. Paul "Skip" Stam, R-Wake, said the measure is among several targeting the N.C. Education Lottery that may come up during the legislative session.
Stam it would be difficult for store clerks to know which players get help. .
But Stam suggested that in obvious cases, such as when customers pay for groceries with food stamps, they shouldn't be allowed to buy lottery tickets at the same time.
Another proposal would remove the word "Education" from the N.C. Education Lottery for advertising purposes.
Lottery spokesman Van Denton said officials haven't fully reviewed all of the legislative proposals to gauge the impacts.
The Village Grocery store in Salisbury is known as a "lucky store" to local lottery players. Several big pay off tickets have been purchased at the store.
Owner Matt Banish told WBTV that even when there isn't a huge jackpot on the line, business is steady.
"It's steady here and from what I can see most people aren't playing irresponsibly,. they play more than I would play but I would not consider them obsessed," Banish said.
When asked what he thought about the published report with Representative Stam's ideas on prohibiting food stamp recipients and others from playing the lottery, Banish replied that asking a clerk to verify such a status would be difficult.
"I think the enforcement of such a law or policy would be the problem," Banish added. "It would be hard to have to ask people, 'are you on food stamps or have you gone bankrupt.'"
Several folks in the busy lunch crowd at Wink's BBQ weighed in on the subject as well.
"Sounds good," one diner told WBTV. "If we're giving them money to buy groceries they shouldn't be out wasting it on lottery tickets and a chance to win, that's gambling."
"They're being subsidized by the government with their food and other payments each month and if they're going to take that money and waste it on a lottery ticket that's not exactly right," said Sarah Carey of China Grove.
"But then again, if they're really bad off and they buy a ticket and win that would be alright too."
Copyright 2013 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved.