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Sweepstakes ban takes effect

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LEXINGTON, NC --- A statewide ban on sweepstakes facilities took effect Thursday after years of going through the courts.

Lawmakers declared sweepstakes an illegal form of gambling in 2010, and the state superme court agreed in 2012.

Now in 2013, the popular venues are shutting down.

The City of Lexington had planned on using money from licensing and regulating sweepstakes stores to encourage small business growth in town.

The city council passed a measure to allow the city to take in about $96,000 annually from the places at the end of 2012. That will no longer be possible.

The decision has been appealed to the federal level.