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Opinion
Published Sat, Jan 19, 2013 08:00 PM
Modified Sat, Jan 19, 2013 11:55 AM

Editorial: Gambling’s Mexican standoff

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Law enforcement officials in Johnston County say they are unsure exactly how to enforce the state’s video sweepstakes law that was upheld in a recent N.C. Supreme Court ruling. They are waiting, we are told, on guidance from the N.C. Attorney General’s office.

The Dept. of Justice says its attorneys have that guidance for any law enforcement officials who call.

So, who’s going to blink first.

It’s not a hard thing to do to pick up the phone and call the Attorney General’s office. It’s also not that difficult to put that advice in the form of a memo and distribute it to law enforcement agencies across the state.

It seems the two groups are standing on opposite sides of the river waiting for one or the other to wade across.

That’s too bad, considering the highest court in the state has ruled that the law is constitutional.

The video sweepstakes industry has said it would work to bring its operation into compliance with the new law and that is a good decision on their part.

Whatever changes they make are likely to have an impact on the companies’ bottom line. That means the incentive is there to bend the law or interpret the law in some improper way that would give any sweepstakes company a competitive advantage.

Law enforcement’s job is to enforce the law. The Attorney General’s job is to provide guidance to law enforcement agencies on how best to do that.

The reticence on the part of either agency to step up here suggests that they are not fond of the law and, frankly, would rather not have to enforce it.

But that is not their choice. The legislative branch is tasked with the job of creating the law. Not the local law enforcement community and not lawyers working for the Attorney General.

It seems the industry in question is working harder to do the right thing than either the law enforcement community or the Justice Department.

Someone needs to blink.

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