After missing the chance to legalize sports betting last year, lawmakers in North Carolina are making a new online sports betting push in this year’s legislative session. The only form of legalized betting at the moment is up and running at the two tribal casinos that are located in the Western part of the state.
Are There Any Notable Changes to Monitor?
The bill is projected to be released as early as Monday. The measure is expected to be last year’s initiative because the effort passed through the Senate chamber but stalled in the House chamber during the final moments.
Advocates will have ample time to garner more support from members of the House. The fundamental reason why the bill ran out of steam was that, in the writing of the bill, it proposed a ban on in-state college sports betting.
In this instance, college sports betting is not banned because a ban would result in the state losing out on a great deal of revenue. The Tar Heel State is home to prominent collegiate programs, especially in the realm of basketball.
Are Sportsbooks Going to Support the Bill?
The language inscribed in the measure will be similar to last year. The goal is to have 10-12 licenses available in the state while the tax rate is set at 14 percent. In addition, sportsbook operators and other entities will be subject to a $1 million licensing fee in order to conduct business in the state.
Sportsbook operators were late to the NC effort last year. In this year’s campaign, companies should be on the ground in greater numbers, according to an industry source, because of a couple of factors.
Numerous professional franchises have made their support known in the previous session. These franchises wanted to control eight of the 12 available licenses because doing so would bring more fans to the games and lead to more revenue.
The organizations that have supported the sports wagering push include the Carolina Hurricanes, Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC, Charlotte Hornets, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NASCAR, NC Courage, and the PGA Tour.
Will the Extra Support Be Enough to Sign the Bill Into Law
Potential bettors have crossed state lines to place wagers in Tennessee. Customers have to be within the Volunteer State’s borders because the jurisdiction only offers online sports betting, which is convenient for visitors.
The state also wants to move away from offshore sports betting and keep the revenue home rather than outside entities. Rep. Jason Saine sponsored last year’s effort in the House that failed by just one vote.
Gov. Roy Cooper has been an advocate of a sports betting market since the previous session. It is more than likely that any bill that reaches his desk will be signed into law. According to Ches McDowell, the lobbyist representing NC teams, the legislation has a strong chance of passing after the extra year of work.