North Carolina legislature discusses adding gambling expansion to state budget

September 6, 2023
By

However, residents from several counties continue to push back against new casino construction.

North Carolina lawmakers in the General Assembly recently met to discuss the possibility of including expanded gambling in the budget, according to a CBS17 local news report. During the private meeting, a group of people assembled outside to protest casino expansion with “no casino” signs.

The dozens who voiced opposition were comprised of residents from Rockingham County, as well as surrounding counties that have considered adding more land-based casinos.

The tension surrounding expanded gambling has been building for the past several weeks, particularly in Rockingham County. More than 3,000 residents signed a recent online petition on change.org to block casino development.

Concern that a new casino could negatively impact other local businesses has been at the forefront of public opposition. Local leaders have also expressed their disagreement with casino expansion, including Gubernatorial candidate Mark Walker and Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page.

However, legislators have not taken the topic off the table.

The latest discussion addressed setting entertainment districts around the state that could include casinos, along with other amenities. These districts could welcome new casinos in Anson, Nash and Rockingham counties, as well as a fourth destination on Lumbee Tribal land, the local report said.

The push for additional North Carolina casinos follows recent legislation to legalize other forms of gambling within the state’s borders. Governor Roy Cooper recently signed House Bill 347, a sports betting and horseracing bill, into law inside the Charlotte Spectrum Center.

The new law will take effect next year and states, "sports wagering shall not be authorized in the state until a date identified by the [Lottery] Commission, which shall occur as soon as practicable and may be no later than 12 months after the date this act becomes law."

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