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The time for statewide legal sports betting could be soon in North Carolina according to at least two lawmakers there who seem optimistic that at least a mobile market could launch by the fall, good news for all the bettors there who have been forced to gamble elsewhere in the meantime.
NC Senator Paul Lowe is a co-sponsor of SB 688, the sports betting bill now in play, and he recently told Raleigh News Site WRAL he is confident that the North Carolina General Assembly will move forward on that legislation during the “short session” they are now in, saying:
We just want to make sure we have drummed up the votes, and I think we have.
This comes after the North Carolina Senate began the legislative process last year by voting favorably for SB 688 and now it will require another congressional yes before it can be passed onto Governor Roy Cooper who is in favor of legalizing sports betting but taxed at a higher rate.
Another state lawmaker, Representative Jason Saine, thought a fall launch for at least the mobile portion of that market could take place sometime in the fall, saying to WRAL:
It’s conceivable, if not by the first of football season, certainly by mid-season.
Otherwise, that state’s limited sports betting market will stay in play.
Technically, North Carolina legalized sports betting back in 2021 but that law only allows two retail sportsbooks to operate, so resident gamblers must place their bets in person at either of the two tribal run casinos there or else risk their money with unregulated offshore sportsbooks.
That works out well for Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, but it’s frustrating for any Tar Heel State bettors who don’t live close to those locations in the western part of that state.
The other option is for resident gamblers to go to a neighboring state like Virginia or Tennessee where that activity is already legal, but that means all those dollars are leaving the Old North State and lawmakers know this and hope to redirect those funds with a regulated market.
Right now, that bill still being debated calls for an 8% tax rate on gross gaming revenue, a number that Governor Cooper would love to see increased, telling the media:
I think [there] probably … needs to be more state tax dollars involved in this, a bigger cut for the people.
Regardless of what rate they decide on, half of the sports betting tax revenue would be used to attract money-making events to the state – entertainment, sporting events, political gatherings – plus some of that tax money is earmarked to treat gambling addiction.
Various pro leagues who operate in North Carolina including the NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, and Churchill Downs all support legalizing sports betting in that state, most likely after witnessing a fiscal gush in the over thirty other states where that activity has been made legal already.
No doubt there is money to be made off North Carolina gamblers, but for now it’s up to the General Assembly to get this next part done so the Governor can get the sports betting party started by football season.
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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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