North Carolina Takes Next Step in Sports Betting Legislation

North Carolina is putting in a lot of effort in order to stay up-to-date with some other states and to legalize sports betting. Last week, the Senate of North Carolina approved a piece of legislation that aims to allow two casinos in this American state to add sports betting services to the list of offerings.

The name of the bill is Bill 154, and it was approved by a 50-seat body with a total of 43 people voting for and seven voting against the bill. The bill is now presented to the House of Representatives of North Carolina, and if everything goes well, we could see sports betting services in two Native American casinos very soon.

Senate Bill 154 is actually the work of Jim Davis, who is a Republican State Senator. It was introduced to the lawmakers back in February since the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians requested it. The tribe would be allowed to add sports betting as one of the Class III services that are already offered in the two casinos – Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

According to Casino.org, which published a report related to the North Carolina bill, Davis proposed only land-based sportsbooks which would offer sports markets that are related to professional and college sports. However, the bill doesn’t say anything about mobile or online sports betting platforms. If this is indeed the case, it would be a huge let-down as online sports betting is way more popular at the moment compared to land-based sportsbooks in the US.

The PASPA Consequence

The Senate Bill 154 was proposed right after the United States Supreme Court invalidated the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which was one of the main acts responsible for the reason why sports betting was illegal in the states. After the act was invalidated, many states started preparing laws to accept sports betting and include it as a part of casino offer both on the land and on the web. Some of the countries that were pioneers in offering sports wagering services were New Jersey, Delaware, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Rhode Island. Apart from these, there are talks in 30 more states about legalizing sports betting, and many states are already making wise legislative moves so as to enable their citizens to place bets on sports. Some of the states that are currently considering what to do are Washington, Indiana, and Arizona.

One of the most important perks of sportsbetting is not the fun that it brings to people who love this type of entertainment, but additional revenue streams that would fill in states’ budgets. Davis told North Carolina Senate that casinos run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians already filled in the state’s budget. The Cherokee Indians managed to build a hospital and fund a lot of social programs in North Carolina. Therefore, allowing them to offer sportsbetting services would further strengthen the relationship between the casinos and North Carolina. Furthermore, a total of annual gaming revenues in this state could go up to $14 million with approximately $1 million going to North Carolina.

Davis stated that table games and slots were already legal in North Carolina and that sports wagering would just expand the number of possibilities for people who like visiting casinos. Furthermore, he added that sports betting is already legal and that it is a great reason to give an opportunity to the Eastern Band to offer that service as they were already very grateful to North Carolina and had been ‘good stewards of money.’