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Carolina sports gamblers would be “happier than a pig in mud” if their lawmakers could find a way to bring legal sports betting to that region, though time appears to have run out for those living in South Carolina where the latest legislative session ended with no related bill passed.
All it would have taken for South Carolina to begin its legal sports betting journey was for the House to have passed HB 5277, a bill that allows for an online and in-person sports betting market to operate there, but lawmakers ended their session without a vote and now that will die.
The tough part about that loss is that HB 5277 was seen as a bipartisan bill that many insiders figured could make it to Governor Henry McMaster’s desk, but it fizzled out most likely due to the election activities that distracted from it, that issue not worth tackling during an election year.
Looks like the earliest legal sports betting can happen in South Carolina is in 2023, though it appears unlikely given the lack of excitement there seemed to be surrounding the issue, and that’s despite the millions of potential tax revenue dollars a market like that could generate.
It’s better news for Carolinians living in the North, as an active sports betting bill – SB 688 – has already made it through the state Senate and now it just needs to do the same in the House, which seems likely as it is said to have the potential yes votes to pass.
Then it would go to Governor Roy Cooper’s desk for a signature, and Cooper has already told his constituents that he would do just that, a good sign that legal sports betting is in the Tar Heel State’s future if all goes according to plan, though in politics it rarely does.
But even given a perfect execution of SB 688 into law, there will still be a long period of time before the first legal bet in North Carolina can be placed since the regulatory part of the process involves as much red tape and controversial choices as the journey has faced so far.
Over thirty other states have endured that process already, so it should be a matter of when, not if, North Carolina bettors will be able to place legal sports bets, and in the meantime they will have to settle for the ‘alternative’ methods they have been forced to use up until now.
Like any other area of the country where sports betting is still illegal, resident gamblers will always find a way to place their bets, so right now in both Carolinas you can be certain bettors are using unregulated offshore sportsbooks and illegal bookies to take their action.
Now Carolina gamblers also have another option, which is to travel to a nearby state where that activity has already been made legal, like in Tennessee or Virginia, a convenient choice for those who live near the border but not so much for those punters in the center of the state.
Keep checking back for more news and updates on this ongoing story as Carolinian lawmakers continue to creep towards their inevitable destiny when they finally join the majority of other states in this lucrative venture.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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