North Carolina House votes to legalize sports betting

June 7, 2023
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The Governor could potentially approve the bill this week, which would legalize wagering on horseracing, and professional, collegiate and amateur sports.

After a 68-41 vote in favor, the North Carolina House may get a sports betting bill to Governor Roy Cooper’s office this week. The bill has bipartisan support, and also passed the Senate on June 1 with a 37-11 vote.

One last procedural vote is needed today before the bill is sent to the Governor. If passed, the bill will legalize sports betting on horseracing, as well as professional, collegiate and amateur games in the Tar Heel State. Wagering would become legal one year after passing and final gubernatorial approval.

Legislators in favor of legalizing sports betting have claimed that it is already happening in the state and is in need of regulation and taxation. Religious and moral opposition to gambling was also a bipartisan stance.

In March, the House passed a bill legalizing sports wagering, only for it to be revised in the Senate, to add new provisions for horseracing. At this time, betting on sports in North Carolina is only legal on Tribal property.

The new bill would allow North Carolina sports fans to place bets online as well as at physical sportsbooks; however, sportsbook locations would only be permitted near professional sports venues and arenas. The Senate’s additions to the bill allows for betting on horseracing while watching a televised race or in person.

As per the bill, 10-12 sportsbook operators would be able to offer their betting services to the state. All wagering will be overseen by the North Carolina Lottery Commission.

An estimated revenue of $1bn is predicted after five years of legal betting in the state, which would make approximately $70m in taxes for North Carolina during that period. Over $40m of the state’s tax revenue would go to a general fund, while the rest would support youth sports and athletics programs, as well as fund programs for combating gambling addiction.

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