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Calls to Legalize a North Carolina Mobile Sports Betting Market Increasing in 2023

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated January 18, 2023
8 min read
  • Pro Sports Teams in North Carolina Calling to Legalize Mobile Sports Betting There

  • NC Mobile Sports Betting Bill Failed by One Vote in 2022 During Last Week of Session

  • State Neighbors (Tennessee, Kentucky) Already Have Mobile Market in Place

North Carolina Sports Betting Market

Pro Sports Teams in North Carolina Calling to Legalize Mobile Sports Betting There

The possible addition of a legal mobile sports betting market in North Carolina is an operation that is “Ready for Primetime” and now more and more industry players including the state’s pro sports teams are calling for it, according to WRAL sports investigative reporter Brian Murphy.

Murphy reports that a coalition of North Carolina professional sports teams are looking to receive licenses to partner with mobile sportsbooks in order to better control where that revenue flows, with Carolina Hurricanes team president Don Waddell telling WRAL:

“It gives us a better opportunity to maximize the revenue.”

The list of pro teams based in North Carolina is impressive and spans multiple sports leagues:

·       Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)

·       Carolina Panthers (NFL)

·       Charlotte Hornets (NBA)

·       Charlotte FC (MLS)

·       NC Courage (NWSL)

·       Charlotte Motor Speedway

·       PGA Tour

·       NASCAR

Each would pay a $1 million licensing fee and, says Murphy, “they would control [that license], providing leverage to make a more lucrative deal.”

How this affects the legislative debate will soon become apparent as the state’s lawmakers returned to session on January 11 and they don’t adjourn until the end of August.

NC Mobile Sports Betting Bill Failed by One Vote in 2022 During Last Week of Session

The idea of bringing mobile sports betting to North Carolina is not new - according to Sports Business Journal (SBJ) reporter Bill King a related bill failed to pass last summer that would have created a dozen combined online/retail licenses.

Those licenses would have been reportedly divided between commercial sportsbooks and pro teams playing in venues of 17,000 or more, but that proposal failed to pass by one vote, a sign that there is enough support on this issue to debate it further during the current session.

Lawyer Jeremy Kudon who directs lobbying strategy for a coalition of sportsbooks and leagues told SBJ:

“We’ve had the benefit of time and been able to go back over the last six months and say, ‘Where did we lose support? … It’s just a matter of getting through the process in both chambers again.”

Easier said than done, although it already has been done by a couple of Tar Heel neighbors.

State Neighbors (Tennessee, Kentucky) Already Have Mobile Market in Place

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018, over thirty states have voted to legalize, regulate, and tax their own sports betting markets, and included in those who opted for a mobile option are two of North Carolina’s closest neighbors – Tennessee and Kentucky.

That gives Old North State residents who live near the border a chance (with a quick drive) to place mobile bets using those out of state options, while those further inland have been stuck either using the legal retail option or the unregulated offshore sportsbooks still available.

That money could be redirected homeward with a legal mobile sports gambling market in place in North Carolina, a chance to add to the $1.7 billion retail portion of that industry, a bold change that could be implemented during the current legislative session.

Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

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]

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