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8/10/2012 3:36:00 PM
Oak Ridge restricts sweepstakes businesses
Text amendment limits locations for electronic gaming sites
Oak Ridge passed a text amendment limiting locations of sweepstakes businesses in town limits. To date, the only confirmed sweepstakes is in the shopping center behind the Shell Station on N.C. 68.
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Oak Ridge passed a text amendment limiting locations of sweepstakes businesses in town limits. To date, the only confirmed sweepstakes is in the shopping center behind the Shell Station on N.C. 68.

Sweepstakes and electronic gaming operations will have a tough time locating in Oak Ridge as a result of a recently passed text amendment.

During its August 2 meeting, the town council passed an amendment to its development ordinance which restricts potential locations for sweepstakes or electronic gaming operations with electronic gaming machines.

The specified businesses will only be approved in the general business district and cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a church, public or private elementary school or secondary school, child day care center or nursery, public park or private residence or residentially-zoned property.

Town Planner Bill Bruce said with the restrictions, council basically banned any new sweepstakes or electronic gaming operations from opening in Oak Ridge.

The only existing commercial area with general business zoning is the CVS property on N.C. 68; CVS does not have any plans to put gaming machines in the establishment.

During the meeting, Councilman George McClellan asked Town Manager Bruce Oakley how the amendment would affect the sweepstakes business which plans to open in the Village Offices, behind the Shell station. Oakley explained that the restrictions will not apply to that business because plans were already in the works before the text amendment was passed.

McClellan then voiced a concern that restrictions could potentially create a monopoly. During the public hearing, Jim Kinneman said he felt the ordinance was too broad.

Town Attorney Michael Thomas confirmed that the amendment had been properly drawn up and the restrictions were legal.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2012
Article comment by: William Edwards

Unlike recent comments from Rodney Blackwel (NWO 8/13) and Lisa Moore (NWO, 8/15), my response won't include the juvenile terms "stupid", "cowardly" and "underhanded".

The Oak RIdge Town Council, in a public forum and representing the best interests of its citizens, wisely voted to enact disincentives in an effort to thwart the location of an unwanted sweepstakes business in the area. I don't recall hearing any public discussion or concerns during the town council meeting. This being the case it appears that Blackwel and Moore are expressing their caustic viewpoints without merit or the benefit of listening to or openly debating the merits that support the Town's position. That's a shame.

Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Article comment by: Lisa Moore

Totally agree with you Rodney! Just like anything that Oak Ridge and its "too good for anything" residents deal with...they do it underhanded and in a stupid, cowardly way. Just like their belief that they were "too good" for a Goodwill...they believe they are too good for a sweepstakes business.

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012
Article comment by: Rodney Blackwel

Stupid. Why didn't they just ban them instead of doing it in an underhanded way.

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