Legal betting in North Carolina is about to see some big changes.
Sports Betting Bill Passes In The Senate
In August, state senators voted to approve SB688. It passed with a 7-member majority and has been waiting on action from the House since.
SB688 expands betting from a tribal-only event to one that can be participated in at venues all across the state. Should the bill get passed in the House, commercial operators will be able to partner with “major sports venues” to provide in-person and mobile betting.
The provision for mobile betting is limited. Players would only have access to a given app depending on their location. With the use of geofencing technology, bettors would be restricted to wagering on-premise.
Still, mobile betting is a huge development for NC sports betting. Despite having to be at the physical venue, bettors don’t have to wait in line to wager or cash out. Additionally, mobile bettors can make live bets while the game or event is happening.
Will NC Offer 18+ Sportsbooks?
The state still has no intention of welcoming 18+ sports betting sites to its roster of operators. NC’s Senate settled on 21 as the minimum betting age.
While this could change, the House’s draft of the bill is expected to look the same as the Senate’s. And given the lack of overwhelming favor seen in the Senate, lowering the betting age would likely work against the progress representatives have already made.
North Carolina’s sports betting bill is expected to allow for the distribution of up to 12 sportsbook licenses. The industry would be overseen by the NC Lottery Commission and charge operators a revenue tax of 8%.
Commercial betting could pool up to $24 million in yearly tax revenues for the state. Adding greater significance to these figures, the state currently earns nothing from tribal betting.
How Will Betting Benefit Consumers?
Revenues from commercial betting would be split evenly between two accounts: NC’s General Fund and the NC Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund.
The General Fund goes towards programs like education and health and human services. The Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund would be an entirely new development for the state.
Money from this new fund would be used to attract visitors to the state by financing projects like concerts and conventions.
Even so, residents remain largely unconvinced that gambling expansion is a good idea for the state. A recent poll showed that only 54% of North Carolinians approved of commercial betting.
Movement In The House
Nonetheless, state representatives are steadfast in their belief that expanded sports betting will favor the consumer first.
“I strongly believe in consumer choice. I think people should have the freedom to engage in activities that they think are fun for them… We love sports here. You know, college basketball and football and baseball, and we have all these minor-league baseball teams across the state. I think it would be great for the consumer.”
North Carolina Representative & Majority Whip Jon Hardister
North Carolina’s House of Representatives is expected to revisit and vote on SB688 in Spring 2022. If you’re eager to see this expansion happen, be sure to write to your local representatives.
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Source: Spectrum News