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North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Takes Leap Forward with Senate Approval

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Aug 20, 2021 · 9:10 AM PDT

North Carolina forward Walker Kessler reacting and celebrating with his hands in the air during a NCAA men's basketball game.
North Carolina forward Walker Kessler (13) reacts following an NCAA college basketball game against Florida State in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
  • The North Carolina Senate approved a sports betting bill to legalize in person and online sports betting in the state
  • The House of Representatives must pass an identical bill before sending it to Gov. Roy Cooper (D) for his signature
  • The bill would allow for 10 to 12 sports betting licenses in the state

North Carolina is making a strong push for sports betting as Senators approved a bill in the state that would legalize in person and online sports betting.

Senators approved Senate Bill 688 by a vote of 26 to 19. The bill includes a potential 10 to 12 sports betting licenses and a tax rate of 8%. Sports betting licenses will be valid for 5 years and no cost for the licenses has been set.

Carolina Sports Teams May Get In On the Act

If the bill is approved North Carolina’s professional sports franchises could open in-person retail sportsbooks at their facilities or offer online sports betting through an app. This would include the Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Hornets. The bill also allows for a license to be awarded to a PGA tour event hosted in the state.

North Carolina sports betting is currently not allowed on Tribal lands. Caesars operates two retails sportsbooks at Cherokee Valley River and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. If approved, the bill would allow the two casinos to operate online sports betting.

Stay Up to Date With All the Latest North Carolina Sports Betting News

The bill now heads to the North Carolina House of Representatives for approval, which could be a tall order. A concurrent House bill, HB 631, was filed in April and was passed on first reading, but has stalled and not been addressed in nearly four months.

Both the North Carolina Senate and House must pass identical versions of the bill before it can be moved to Gov. Roy Cooper (D) for his signature.

In-State Collegiate Betting Will Be Allowed

The bill will allow sports betting on professional sports, as well as in-state colleges, amateur and eSports as approved by state regulators. Gamblers must be 21 to participate and in-person registration for online sports betting accounts is not required.

If approved, 50% of all sports betting tax revenue would be deposited into the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund. These funds would be used to promote major attractions in North Carolina, stimulate the economy by attracting tourists and serve as a job creator. The remaining 50% of sports betting revenue would go to the state’s general fund.

Additionally, $1 million collected in sports betting taxes will be transferred to the Department of Health and Human services for gambling addiction, education and treatment programs in the state.

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