Expanded Sports Betting Bill Filed in North Carolina

North Carolina Flag
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.

Harrah’s Reno Will Transform Into Reno City Center

Hotel-Casinos in Downtown RenoReno’s historic Harrah’s hotel-casino was recently sold for $50 million by VICI Properties and Caesars Entertainment to Las Vegas-based real estate group CAI Investments, after being a landmark presence in the Northern Nevada city for nearly 83 years.

Harrah’s Reno first opened in 1937. It was founded by William F. “Bill” Harrah and originally a small bingo parlor and casino. Harrah was a successful entrepreneur in the United States, and Harrah’s Reno was the company’s first establishment. Today, the Harrah’s chain has 17 casinos in 11 different states. Four of them are located in Nevada, with Harrah’s properties in Laughlin, Reno, Las Vegas, and Lake Tahoe.

There are plans to renovate and update the long-established casino into a mixed non-gambling property in downtown Reno. Eventually, this area will be known as the Reno City Center.

Plans for the New Reno City Center

The remodeled property will feature about 530 market-rate apartments, 150,000 square feet of new office space, and 78,500 square feet of retail. Some of the planned stores include dining options such as a grocery star, a bar, a coffee shop, and even a few restaurants.

The Reno City Center will also feature a fitness center. There are plans to accommodate other recreational activities as well. According to CAI, there may be areas to walk around, similar to a park-like structure. Plans also factor in the east tower but remain fluid, CAI told the Reno Gazette Journal.

“The goal with the property is to offer much-needed housing, office and services to the downtown Reno market — all of which are instrumental in the continued diversification of the Reno economy”, said CAI Investments CEO Chris Beavor.

“Fulfilling these needs are especially important if Reno wants to continue attracting new businesses and employees to the region.”

The plans for this update is for the new infrastructure to be versatile. They plan to host plenty of easy and fun options on-site. The idea is for future residents to be able to take the elevator down from their apartment and have a walking distance commute at any of the offices. Then, they can take another walk down the river or head over to the gym. And it could all take place within the very same building.

Services are also planned to be a la carte, giving renters the options to pick and choose which services they want to utilize and pay for, be it parking, the gym, or pet-friendly lodging features. Apartments will be offered as one and two bedroom configurations, priced at market rate.

Estimated Timeline for Completion

Beavor hopes to have the Harrah’s Reno refresh done within 30 months after Caesars’ lease finishes later this year. Gryphon Private Wealth Management and CAI will be working together for the Reno City Center project.

The City Center also aimsto open at the same time as CAI’s 20-story boutique hotel project that will be located on Court Street. The boutique hotel project will be built from the ground up, unlike Harrah’s reboot.

Beaver is a Reno native. Hopefully, the two projects will add substantial value, bring traffic, and garner more attention toward downtown Reno.

“If you think of Reno in terms of a baseball match, we’re just right now at the top of the third,” Beavor said.

“Everyone in Reno has done a great job in the last 10 to 15 years with the downtown regional plan. Our next push into the fourth inning is to help improve the repositioning of downtown.”

 

Amador County Harrah’s Casino Officially Opens Its Doors

The Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians officially opened doors to visitors and celebrated it with a grand opening ceremony. This Harrah’s Northern California casino is located in Amador County, and it is a project worth $168 million. The venue also had its soft opening on April 29, 2019, when hundreds of casino lovers rushed in to see what this brand new casino has to offer, creating severe traffic congestions. This 71,000 sq ft venue once again attracted hundreds of visitors for the grand opening.

The celebration took place at the property which is located approximately 32 miles southeast of Sacramento. It is located just south of Ione in the foothills of Amador County. The casino welcomed guests from all over the region, especially because it is the only casino that partnered up with Caesars Entertainment and Buena Vista Rancheria Me-Wuk, thus being a casino affiliated with Caesars Rewards. In fact, it is the only such casino nearby.

The party that happened during the opening incorporated many entertaining things, such as drones creating a light show which was specifically designed for this occasion, and with the Caesars-operated venue in mind. It was followed by a 3D projection which mapped the casino exterior and there was even magnificent pyrotechnics.

Apart from outstanding visual experience, there were a lot of other interesting things to do and see during the grand opening, such as the round-the-clock promotions and giveaways that started on May 17. It was an extension of a sort, and it continued the party that had started during the soft opening of the casino some three weeks before the grand opening.

The Buena Vista Rancheria Chairwoman, Rhonda Pope-Flores, stated that the weekend behind them had not only been a celebration of the casino opening, but also a sort of a way to say ‘thank you’ to the local community and all the guests that had been very supportive of the casino development process. The long history of hospitality is in the veins of the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, and the previous weekend was just a taste of what is about to come. In other words, Pope-Flores stated that the grand opening ceremony was just the start of many celebrations that are planned in order to bring casino lovers together.

When it comes to the casino itself, it features a total of 950 slots and 20 table games. Furthermore, there are three dining options for fast-casual dining, as well as a traditional dining venue called Louie Oliver’s Restaurant & Bar. The casino officials also have big plans for the future, and one of the most significant at the moment is adding a hotel for all visitors who want to stay overnight.

Being 17 miles from the main competitor, Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort, the new location is likely to become the largest employer in Amador County. It is operated by a federally-recognized tribe of Jackson Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians, as well as the Mule Creek State Prison.

Apart from offering more than 500 jobs (400 of which are full-time positions), the casino will also offer various other benefits for the local community. In fact, Harrah’s already made a community contribution of $20 million, even before the casino was opened. It is estimated that the venue would pay approximately $8 million in ongoing contributions per year. Furthermore, $1 million would be awarded to the County Community Fund for various projects that will take place in the county. In other words, apart from jobs and entertainment, the casino will be included in the community and make significant ongoing contributions.