Expanded Sports Betting Bill Filed in North Carolina

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North Carolina just launched sports betting in the state. Now Senators want to expand the bill, allowing online sports betting to take place in the Tar Heel state.

Last week, Senators Paul Lowe Jr., a Democrat from Winston Salem and Republican Jim Perry of Kinston filed Senate Bill 688 which would legalize online and mobile sports betting in the state.

Senate Bill 688

Senate Bill 688 would allow the North Carolina State Lottery Commission to issue gaming licenses to at least 10 online gaming operators but not to exceed 12. These licenses would allow the operators to accept online bets on both professional and collegiate sports, esports, and amateur sports such as the Olympic games.

Application for license would cost $500,000 although the amount would be refunded if the applicant is not approved. The permit would be valid for five years after which, the operator will be required to pay another $100,000 for the next five years. Operators will be required to remit 8% of adjusted gross revenues as state tax.

Although the bill is focused on North Carolina online sports betting, it also allows owners of sports facilities that hold professional events and can accommodate at least 17,000 spectators to have computer betting facilities either inside the sports venue or anywhere within a quarter-mile of the facility.

First NC Sportsbook Opened in March

North Carolina passed in 2019 a legislation that allowed the state’s Native American tribes to open casinos in their jurisdiction. That resulted in the Cherokee Band of Indians to partnering with William Hill to put up retail sportsbook locations in their two Harrah’s themed casinos in the state. These sportsbook opened last month as the first in the state.

The ongoing Kings Mountain Resort project of the Catawba Indian Nation will also be allowed to establish their own retail sportsbook once the casino commences its operations.

Under Senate Bill 688, these tribal casinos are also permitted to join North Carolina Sports betting activities, without counting as one of the 10-12 online sports betting operators allowed under the legislation.