Senators see link between sports gambling and education

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North Carolina senators believe legalizing sports gambling could fund the construction of schools.

On Wednesday, NC Senators Jim Perry (right) and Paul Lowe filed Senate Bill 688, which will legalize sports gambling in North Carolina and thus create an additional revenue stream that can go into education.

If the bill is approved, it will allow wagers to be placed on professional, college, electronic and amateur sports. It could also include more sports approved by the North Carolina Education Lottery Commission.

The bill states that an 8% tax will be imposed on the monthly adjusted gross revenues of every sports wagering operator. This fund could help construct schools as Perry explained to the Raleigh News & Observer.

“Until someone else brings me some ideas about how to help provide more funding for school construction in rural areas, then I’m looking at every idea,” he said. “I have two Tier 1 counties and while I’m thankful for the money available through the lottery, they’ll let you forgo five years of your lottery funds to get some advance money, but that’s still not enough.”

In addition to the tax, operators could also be charged a $500,000 licensing fee and a $100,000 renewal fee for the license.

Perry added that it’s because of the pandemic that he and Lowe are having to discuss alternative ways to fund schools.

After they saw gambling revenue projections, they decided to propose this bill, and it’s calculated that sports gambling could generate around $50m a year to North Carolina.

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