A bill that seeks to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina is expected to get a legislative committee hearing in the coming days. Although this is an early step in a long process, it’s a sign that the measure is gaining traction.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said Tuesday after noon that SB 688 will finally move this week from from the Senate Committee on Rules and Operations, where it was referred to last April 8 after a first reading.
The movement means that the legislative measure got the nod from the Senate Republican caucus which is a key arbiter for the bill’s chances. Lead sponsor Sen. Jim Perry said that there’s a “reasonable amount of support from the caucus to move forward” with committee discussion. But he expects additions and changes, as bills often do in the House.
12 Online Licenses
Senate Bill 688 would permit 12 online licenses to be issues and allow sports professional sports facilities and venues that host more than 17,000 fans to receive licenses as well. These include facilities that are home to North American professional sports teams like the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets.
Under the bill, the operators will be regulated by the state and taxed 8% of their sports betting revenues. Legal North Carolina sports betting is expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for the state. The revenue will go to areas in North Carolina that need development.
Legal Wagers Outside Tribal Casinos
North Carolina’s current law permits sports gambling but only at tribal casinos. Harrah’s Casino, located at the mountains of western North Carolina and operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, recently opened a sports betting facility earlier this year inside the property.
The Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, currently operating at a temporary site, will also be allowed to operate legal sports betting and it is expected to do once it is completed. The Casino Two Kings Casino’s main $273M facility will open with an introductory phase at the end of this year.