A sports betting proposal for North Carolina asking for up to nine casinos is expected to resurface at a state legislative session held today. These new casinos would join the three Tribally ones currently operated in the Old North State.
Spectrum Gaming Group (SGC), an independent consultant, told lawmakers in a 2020 report that the gaming industry in North Carolina received little attention outside of Raleigh. This proposal includes locations such as Asheville, which it argues could reap economic benefits from a casino.
In 2022, online sports betting was the only gambling proposal to gain serious traction in the state’s General Assembly, passing in the Senate but failing in the House by just three votes.
The SGC report said that other forms of gambling North Carolina could adopt include video gaming machines in bars and authorized locations, as well as online lottery and casino gaming.
SGC projects that an Asheville casino could support 992 slot machines, 34 tables and generate $113m a year if it were to be approved.
Former House Representative for Asheville John Ager commented: “I think that if sports betting passes that there’ll be an effort to go to the next step. I just can’t imagine North Carolina allowing nine casinos, but these kinds of things have a life to them, and when you win a couple of preliminary rounds, maybe you could get there.”
Senator Julie Mayfield contended that Asheville would ‘not welcome’ a casino and said that North Carolina’s Tribes would fight ‘tooth and nail’ to prevent the legislation from passing.