On Monday, North Carolina’s sports betting bill (SB688) was approved by its second Senate Committee as it easily makes its way through the gauntlet of political groups who must recommend it before it can reach the Senate floor for a vote.
The bill was quickly approved by the Senate judiciary committee last Wednesday and now the Finance committee has recommended it after discussing various ways to close certain marketing loopholes that could exist in the current sports gambling plan.
Other matters of concern in these discussions were the potential socioeconomic side effects to the Tar Heel community that legal sports gambling could cause, with committee members suggesting provisions be added that addressed gambling addiction and underage betting.
With any legal and regulated so-called vice comes to a cost, and Senator Jim Perry, a primary sponsor of SB668, has made it clear that its not too bitter a pill for North Carolinians to swallow.
There’s always a social impact to every choice, a price to be paid for freedom, some would say. My mother does not like this legislation, and I understand because I know how she was raised.
What is clear is that sports gambling is already happening in the Old North State, so this bill is an attempt to regulate and tax that market.
This sports betting bill outlines many of the details regarding how the NC sports gaming market would operate, which would be done by expanding the authority of the state Education Lottery commission (NCEL) who would now oversee all sports wagering.
Ten to twelve sports wagering operators will be allowed to accept wagers for a half a million-dollar licensing fee and then the NCEL would collect an 8% tax on each operator’s monthly adjusted gross revenue.
Not to mention charge an annual renewal fee of $100,000 for each betting license plus a $10,000 renewal fee for every service provider license and a $5,000 renewal fee for every supplier license, a nifty flow of passive income that directly benefits North Carolinians.
What is also made clear in this bill is that there will be no wagering on youth club or school sports or on injuries, penalties, and player disciplinary outcomes or the results of replay review, all common prohibitions that cause little pushback from committee members.
Next in line for SB688 is facing the litigious scrutiny of two more Senate committees: Commerce and Insurance and then the Rules and Operations, both also expected to recommend this sports betting bill.
Counting on this bill to become law are Old North State sports bettors and potential gambling licensees, but also hoping for this sudden influx of North Carolina green is the state’s Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund which will receive half of that monthly adjusted gross revenue.
So far, objections to this bill have been easily countered by the $50 million in annual revenue projections, and since non-regulated sports gambling already happens in North Carolina, Perry is not too concerned about any additional negative social impact a bill like this could have.
I’m not going to say there’s none, and I also refuse to accept that it is Armageddon and the end of the world.
Check back here for further updates on this ongoing process.
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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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