NACS Asks For Support For Online Lottery Legislation

U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) recently introduced bipartisan legislation that seeks to restore the long-standing interpretation of the Federal Wire Act and reverses the Department of Justice’s abrupt December 2011 decision to expand online gaming.

The National Assn. of Convenience Stores (NACS) has sent a letter to both co-sponsors of the bill explaining why this bill is important to the convenience store industry.

“Unfortunately, in late 2011 the Department of Justice changed nearly 50 years of legal precedent and decided that the Wire Act does not prevent gambling on the Internet (other than sports betting). Because of this dramatic change, the Internet is poised to be the Wild West of gambling with individual states allowing gambling businesses of all kinds to set up shop online and prey upon vulnerable Americans without any federal check or consistency.

“Not only would this put kids at risk and dramatically increase gambling addiction and related problems, but it would devastate NACS member businesses throughout the country. Among the products NACS members offer are lottery tickets. NACS members spend substantial time and money ensuring that they verify age before customers can buy lottery tickets. No website will be able to replicate that. And, for problem gamblers and those who cannot afford to lose the money, just the need to leave home, go to a store and deal with another person in a face-to-face transaction can create some friction on decisions that they would later regret — certainly more friction than clicking a mouse in the privacy of home would cause. All of that will be lost if there are no federal limits on lotteries and other online gambling,” wrote NACS officials.

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FDA Preparing to Rule On E-Cigarettes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is preparing to release a proposed rule that would establish the agency’s authority over electronic cigarettes.

Reuters News Agency has reported that FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg told members of Congress during a recent Senate budget hearing that it has taken too long to move the rule forward and that she expects the proposal to be ready “very soon.”

In 2009, the FDA was granted the authority to regulate the manufacture and retail sale of tobacco products.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that the number of calls to poison centers involving e-cigarette liquids containing nicotine is increasing, going from one call per month in September 2010 to 215 per month in February 2014.

CDC also found that more than half (51.1 percent) of the calls to poison centers due to e-cigarettes involved children under 5 years of age, and about 42 percent of the poison calls involved people 20 or older.

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Jack Link’s Completes Purchase Of Unilever Meat Snack Business

Jack Link’s has completed the acquisition of Unilever meat snacks, which are primarily sold under the BiFi brand (Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland) and the Peperami brand (UK and Ireland). Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction also includes the manufacturing facility in Ansbach, Germany.

“Jack Link’s mission is to be the No. 1 provider of branded meat snacks throughout the world,” said Troy Link, chief executive officer of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. “This is an important step in delivering on that mission and we are excited to welcome the BiFi and Peperami brands into the family. These brands continue to drive growth in meat snacks in their respective territories and we look forward to working with all of our team members and retail partners to continue that success.”

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Latest Word in C-Store News...

Maryland lawmakers have passed a minimum wage bull upping the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by July 2018. Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign the bill.

• Cumberland Farms is interested in new sites in Florida after selling 27 of its stores in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

• Mars Inc. has named Grant Reid, the head of its chocolate business, as new company president, succeeding Paul Michaels, who plans to retire at the end of the year.

• The Pantry, a major convenience store chain in the Southeast, has renewed a distribution service agreement with McLane Co.

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