There’s Still A Chance For The North Carolina Sports Betting Bill

There's Still A Chance For The North Carolina Sports Betting Bill

Although slow, movement continues in North Carolina, where state lawmakers continue to discuss a bill to legalize mobile sports betting.

However, time is running out. The 2022 legislative session runs from May 18 to June 30, but optimism remains that House lawmakers will get SB 688 to the governor’s desk.

Political support remains for North Carolina sports betting

Ches McDowell, a lobbyist representing the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), MLB, PGA Tour, and Churchill Downs, said he believes the votes are there.

“I believe we have a very, very good chance of passing this bill.”

Last year, the bill passed favorably through the Senate by a 26-19 vote. Governor Roy Cooper (D) also amended the state’s Class III gaming compact to allow in-person sports betting and has said should the bill land on his desk, he will sign it.

In February, Cooper said, “[sports betting] is here whether we like it or not.”

“The issue is will North Carolina be on the cutting edge for the technology jobs and other employment that it will create and be able to get state taxpayers their cut, or are we just going to let it happen all around us? I think it’s time for us to step up and do it.”

Two of the four states that border North Carolina have legalized sports betting. Virginia has retail and online sports betting, while Tennessee only has mobile wagering.

Online North Carolina sports betting details

The Tar Hill state does not have commercial casinos. Instead, retail North Carolina sports betting comes via the state’s two federally recognized tribes. Retail sportsbooks are live at Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Indian Valley. Next year, betting will also be available at the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort.

What SB 688 does is create 10 to 12 mobile sports betting licenses for “qualified” interactive gaming platform providers. If approved, these would include operations like DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and a host of others.

These qualified operators would pay a one-time $500,000 licensing fee and be subject to an 8% tax on gross sports betting revenue. After securing a license, mobile sportsbooks will also be allowed to partner with certain small businesses like bars, restaurants, and convenience stores.

Author: Tyler Gutierrez