Two other stores, at which the gaming activity is not a principal use, also purchased licenses at the new $500 rate.
All of the license purchases were made despite the fact that the General Assembly recently banned sweepstakes parlors in North Carolina, effective Dec. 1.
Owners of the businesses here and across the state are hoping some changes in the games and/or regulation of the industry can make the electronic games legal and perhaps provide a revenue source for the state.
They were encouraged by a statement by Gov. Beverly Purdue last week in which she said that if video sweepstakes of any kind are to be permitted, the state needs an organized, unified system of regulation which would insure that nobody is profiteering from them.
The three electronic gaming stores that opened in Fuquay-Varina last (fiscal) year included: the 401 Business Center in the Blalock Shopping Center on Main Street, BST Communications at 1364 N. Main Street and the Internet Sweepstakes Café, S. Main Street in the Dollar General Shopping Center..
The two stores that added electronic gaming machines to their existing convenience store businesses were Quality Food Mart at 1325 E. Broad St. and the Country Store at 812 W. Academy Street.
Customers at the gaming stores pay a set fee for certain amount of time on a computer at which they can play games and possibly win a cash prize.
Electronic gaming stores that sought privilege licenses during the 2010 fiscal year, learned that Fuquay-Varina had no specific category for such stores. All were granted licenses under the “business services” category because, in addition to internet access, they also offered copying and faxing services. Those licenses were $30.
The town board subsequently amended its ordinances to create a privilege license category for electronic gaming stores and to spell out zoning categories in which they could be located and also naming public locations they cannot be near such as schools and churches.