Georgia C-store Owners Fight State Over Video Poker Machine Law

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Georgia C-store Owners Fight State Over Video Poker Machine Law


ATLANTA -- More than 100 convenience store owners in Georgia are taking the state to court over a new law governing video poker machines and their profits.

The new regulations require store owners to register with the state if they are going to run video poker machines. They also require store owners to turn over a portion of their proceeds to the state lottery corporation, according to news station WABE.

The 100-plus store owners have retained the services of attorney Kelly Burke to sue the state. Burke said his clients do not have a problem with the aforementioned sections of the law. However, they do take issue with the section of the law that mandates that store owners split their net profits evenly with the companies that lease them the machines.

"What the state did is they said, 'In order to do business with us, i.e. the Georgia Lottery, convenience store operators, you have to agree to give machine owners half the money.' Well why?" Burke posed.

The convenience store owners want a Fulton County judge to declare the law unconstitutional. The Georgia Attorney General's office had no comment on the lawsuit.

Bill sponsor State Sen. Butch Miller (R-Gainesville) does not expect the suit to get far.

"I didn't have a single negative comment during the crafting and during presentation of the bill. It was discussed at great length," Miller told WABE. "And the convenience store folks were happy with it, the operators were happy with it, and we moved forward."