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It’s easy to forget that sports betting is already legal in North Carolina – the only catch is that all wagers must be placed in person at one of the two Cherokee casinos in the far western part of the state – but what’s difficult has been bringing a mobile option to those Tar Heel gamblers.
As we have recently reported, the bill that would allow for a legal online sports betting market in North Carolina – SB 688 – was approved by the state Senate last year and it was up to the House to pass it before the legislative session ends, but instead they killed it by a 50-51 vote.
What’s just as interesting is that 19 House members failed to vote on this issue, a reluctance to do their jobs that shows just how touchy this mobile sports betting issue is in a state that is home to several major pro teams, NCAA hoops, NASCAR, and the PGA throughout the year.
Now, Old North State lawmakers have until the end of the month to either convince those opposed to the mobile option to shift their position or else wait for the election year to end and take it on in 2023 with an all new bill that perhaps addresses more of the major concerns.
However, the House did pass SB 38, a bill that the Senate has yet to rule on.
It’s a confusing array of legislation that North Carolina lawmakers must consider, including SB 38, which is a bill that is acting as a vehicle for making amendments to the original bill, SB 688, that just failed to pass through the House.
The House did, however, pass SB 38, but the Senate has yet to debate the changes included in that amended version of their original bill, a ping pong match of back and forth legislation that so far has failed to please enough members of either side to pass through both chambers.
House members don’t want betting on college sports to be legal and they prefer higher tax rates and licensing fees on sportsbooks that operate there, all in an attempt to maximize profits while protecting amateur athletes, but those could end up being dealbreakers in the Senate.
Many opponents of mobile sports betting see it as a gateway to addiction.
There is no doubt that by making sports betting more accessible to North Carolinians via a mobile option you increase the chances that problem gambling will also see a rise, a reality that many other states have faced by using “markers of protection” to counter problem gambling.
For more details on that, check out our prior coverage: What Sports Betting Companies Should Be Doing to Protect their Customers, but essentially they collect a range of data points that point to addictive gambling behavior and incorporate that into their compliance and safety measures.
Some state lawmakers like Rep. Jay Adams are convinced that mobile sports betting there will only make problem gambling worse, saying:
This is just another opportunity to create unfortunate opportunities for people who can’t resist.
Time is running out for North Carolinian lawmakers to push this through, so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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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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