Saturday, April 06, 2013

My take on The Sweepstakes aka Gambling Issue in NC...

Full disclosure: I used to work at a Sweepstakes place.

That being said, I can tell you first hand that:

1) Yes, jobs will be lost. But these jobs were low-paying jobs not much more than minimum wage. If you were paid $9.00 an hour, you were among the "lucky few." At least they qualify for unemployment...

2) Was it gambling? HELL YEAH IT WAS GAMBLING!! To say it wasn't is BULLS%$T!! You're not gonna put hundreds of dollars into a "game" just for "entertainment."

3) The Owners of these spots MADE A KILLING!! DON'T FEEL SORRY FOR THEM! They made their money! I know that in only 4 months (in 2010) I rang up at least $250,000 in sales that were ALL CASH TRANSACTIONS! When I worked at one, I didn't think "The Great Recession" existed because of the cash flow that was coming in. Keep in mind, this was just the money made on MY SHIFT & not ALL SHIFTS at the place I worked!

4) The Owners should've used all that cash to lobby The NC Legislator instead of busing in CUSTOMERS of their "games." That sent the WRONG SIGNAL that the owners (for the most part) wanted to put the success or failure of the passing of laws on the CUSTOMERS instead of THEMSELVES. Which leads me to my next point...

5) The Sweepstakes Money was BLACK MONEY! Yeah, that's right: BLACK PEOPLE are the ones who made these greedy-ass owners all that money! And they didn't benefit ONE DIME of that avalanche of cash to The Black Community! Add that fact that they're were very few Black owners (I know only of TWO) & I don't feel an ounce of sympathy for most of these folks. I know of one Black-owned joint that they (The City of Greensboro, the building owner, AND the owners of the sweepstakes software) that my heart goes out to because they were the ONLY ONES trying to do for The Black Community and they were basically s&%ted on.

6) Most (but not ALL) of the "criminal activity," such as robberies that were going on were INSIDE JOBS! That is self-explanatory. People with low pay ask some friends to stage a "robbery" so they can ALL split the cash as well as the cash reserves that were on hand. Once again, NOT ALL of the robberies were inside jobs, but many were.

7) The Owners of these places didn't want them to be confused with casinos (which was EXACTLY what they were) so they didn't promote them like they should have. In an industry such as this, you can't suck the blood out of your customers. You have to give stuff away, and I'm not talking about pizza & coffee. You want people to spend money? Then they should've set up something where the customers could've gotten some of that money back, i.e. scholarships, free groceries (you can't eat a free TV), or something along those lines so that people know that even though they're spending money, they'll get some of it back.

8) Once new laws were enacted, the software changed causing far less winning than before. I used to hear all the time how someone hit for $5000.00 at Chuck's Biz Center on W. Market St. (That's what they like to call themselves, "Biz Centers" where you can fax & copy documents, even though very little of that was going on. In some places, you couldn't even do that. And The Internet service was so slow that you were better off going to your local library branch.) That stopped with the changes in software. It was almost like there was a shadow over the sweepstakes. Very few, if any people won big after the changes in software. At least at a casino, you know SOMEONE won some money SOMEWHERE.

I also want to say that I'm not against gambling in the least, but the way that most of  these owners ran it here was shameful, especially the way they bused mostly Black customers to Raleigh to try to convince politicians to keep this stuff legal. That hurt them more than helped them. And now since the most popular sweepstakes company is pulling out of NC (IIT), it looks like that's a wrap for gambling in NC. 

Had they planned for it better and respected their customers better, it still could've been around.



Blogger Roch Smith, Jr said...

Look, gambling is a loosing proposition unless you are the house.

A "scholarship" of $250 in exchange for the $10,000 you've gambled is no bargain.

If the odds, in real time, of collecting a reward were available, people wouldn't play. It's only by an exaggeration of the possibility of a prize that lures people to this losing proportion.

North Carolin is better off without.

Saturday, April 06, 2013 9:46:00 PM  
Blogger Ken B. said...

Roch, I'm not not suggesting that trading in a "scholarship" to operate in an area is a fair deal,(and yeah, the house ALWAYS wins) though I've stated before that I have no problem with gambling, per se. What I was saying is that these sweepstakes folks could've approached this whole situation much better than they did. Getting a whole bunch of players visibly promoting YOUR business when YOU (You as in the sweepstakes folks, not YOU you) are the one making profit but are TOO scared to be seen for the most part. Also, many of this stuff started ILLEGALLY with some people who had won not getting paid.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:09:00 PM  
Blogger Ken B. said...

In my time working for a sweepstakes, I heard of an African guy who actually won the big $15,000.00 pay-off. the problem was that he was never properly compensated when he won.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:10:00 PM  

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