May 31, 2023 3 min read


NC’s Video Gambling Industry Allegedly Violated Campaign Finance Regulations

A complaint aimed at gambling industry donations that allegedly violated campaign finance laws has been filed with North Carolina’s election officials

According to the official complaint filed by veteran government accountability advocate Bob Hall earlier in the week, a number of donors representing the video gambling industry gave a total of $885,000 to a series of elected officials and candidates, including legislative leaders representing both parties. 

The same complaint mentions that the campaign committees for top Republican Party lawmakers like Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore allegedly received several contributions from the same donors, all on the same day.

The Contributions Were Made Between 2019-2022

The suspicious contributions that may have breached the current campaign finance regulations were given before lawmakers started to consider the legalization and regulation of the video gambling industry in 2021.

According to Hall, many of these donations were made later in the election, at the end of October or November, either after the due date for the final campaign disclosure report, or after the election. Allegedly, $230,660 was “logged in” after October 25, 2022.

Hall’s complaint also mentions that many of the said donors were members of the North Carolina Coin Operators Association (NCCOA), which is an industry group that was founded in 2019. 

The complaint alleges that a series of members and companies tied to NCCOA “conspired to deliver unprecedented sums to key state legislators in a coordinated manner” which both violated their obligations of forming a political committee while evading the contribution limits and reporting requirements imposed on political action committees (PAC).

Hall alleged that, by choosing not to register as a PAC, the donors were able to escape the requirement to disclose their fundraising activity while skirting the limits regarding when and how much money such a committee could donate. 

The individual amounts that were donated to the lawmakers were below the $5,600 contribution limit. However, when handled as a bundle of donations given by donors who should have registered as a PAC, the donations would have gone “well over” the limit, according to the same complaint. 

The Contributions Were Disclosed in January 2023

Since the respective contributions mentioned by Hall were not disclosed until the start of the year, the former longtime executive director of Democracy NC explained that neither the media nor the public was able to take their size and frequency into consideration prior to the election. 

His complaint, which addresses State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell, has been filed as lawmakers are once again trying to bring the failed gambling bill from 2021 back to life. 

If a fresh version of the legislation that would make video gambling legal in North Carolina passes, it would also regulate the industry with the help of the state lottery commission. In mid-March, Tar Heel State lawmakers also expressed their belief that a possible sports betting bill might also benefit from the necessary support to go through.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *