North Carolina Aims to Launch Online Sports Betting By Fall

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North Carolina bettors may have mobile betting during this football season as the lawmakers have indicated support.

The North Carolina Senate has already approved Senate Bill 688, which now requires the majority support of the House of Representatives to make online sports betting a reality.

The Tar Heel State just opened its legislative session.

North Carolina online sports betting supporters believe they have sufficient votes to clear the lower chamber this session.

“We just want to ensure we have drummed up the votes, and I think we have (the required votes), said Sen. Paul Lowe, who co-sponsored SB 688. Speaking to WRAL-TV, the key lawmaker said he’ feels “confident about it.”

Gov. Roy Cooper previously indicated his support that he would sign online sports betting legislation.

SB 688 Already Cleared Senate Last Year

SB 688 was cleared by the Senate last August by a 26-19 vote. The upper chamber then sent the measure to the House for consideration, where it has been awaiting action since.

As the North Carolina Legislative session runs for two years, the legislative measure can still be considered for 2022.

The state lawmakers returned to Raleigh on May 18 to conclude voting during the even-year short session. This year’s session ends June 30.

North Carolina currently allows retail sports betting but only at the two Cherokee casinos in the western part of the state. Two Caesars Sportsbooks kicked off the retail operation in late 2021 at these tribal establishments.

The new legislation would expand the scope of sports betting by allowing up to 12 mobile sportsbooks to take statewide mobile bets.

What Would North Carolina Sports Betting Look Like?

If SB 688 receives the House support, it will launch up to 12 mobile operators and set the online sports betting tax rate at 8%. The measure would also legalize mobile wagering on professional and collegiate sporting events for anyone in the state who’s 21 or above.

The North Carolina online sports betting bill, which is also backed by the state’s NFL and NBA teams, would allow the local professional sports facilities, racetracks, and PGA-event golf courses to offer mobile wagering.

A mobile operator would have to pay $500,000 for a license if approved.

State Rep. Jason Saine told the same tv station that mobile sports betting could come to North Carolina as soon as the fall… “if not by the first of football season, certainly by mid-season.”

The state lawmakers have yet to discuss the bill in this year’s session, which will conclude on June 30.

Is Football Launch a Realistic Target?

If the North Carolina online sports betting bill clears House Committees in the coming days, it will go to the full House for a vote.

Though the measure faces some opposition from some problem gambling groups, the governor has said he supports sports betting as it creates jobs.

North Carolina is the ninth-most populous state, with more than 10 million people. If online sports betting becomes a law, the Tar Heel State is likely to become a lucrative market.

The bill sponsor expects some tweaks before a final version of SB 688 is approved. However, once finalized, licenses to the potential operators would be awarded within 60 days after an application is submitted, according to the bill.

While many issues need to be ironed out before September, North Carolina mobile sports betting will launch in the fall if the Senate acts swiftly and the governor signs the bill into law.

More than 30 other states have legalized some form of sports betting since 2018 when the Supreme Court struck down PASPA.

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