North Carolina lawmakers have officially filed a new bill to legalize online sports betting in the state.
Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, filed the North Carolina sports betting bill in the state’s House of Representatives on Monday. That would bring some much-needed online expansion to the state’s industry.
However, the bill still has a long way to go before it becomes law. The process starts today, so bettors in the state will be watching closely.
North Carolina sports betting bill details
North Carolina only has a handful of casinos, but they can already take in-person sports bets. Their Las Vegas-style retail sportsbooks opened for business in 2021.
Despite that, sports fans in the state still aren’t able to place their bets online. That puts North Carolina well behind the rest of the pack.
More than two dozen states in the US already offer online sports betting, including two of the Tar Heel State’s neighbors. Virginia and Tennessee are both a part of that group.
House Bill 347 would let North Carolina join the online sports betting party. A few of the key points of the bill include:
- Legalizing online sports betting in North Carolina
- Allows betting on college sports
- Taxing online sports betting revenue at 14%
- Allowing 10-12 different online sportsbooks to open in the state
- $2 million annually to fight problem gambling
At this point, the finer details are still up for debate. The new sports betting bill has been filed but hasn’t passed any committees or debates yet. In other words, the bill could look a lot different if it makes it to the governor’s desk.
Better odds for NC sports betting in 2023
This isn’t the first time that North Carolina lawmakers have tried to legalize online sports betting. Last year’s efforts fell short of reaching the end zone. Two bills made their way out of committee last year, and one almost passed.
During its final vote, Senate Bill 688 was narrowly defeated, 51-50. That killed any chance of online sports betting making its way to North Carolina last year.
Things could be different in 2023 thanks to lawmakers having an extra year under their belts to prepare.
Instead of hashing things out with multiple bills, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have come together to try and put the best parts of previous bills together. That should help streamline the process and free up Saine and company to help rally support.
Even Gov. Roy Cooper seems to be on board for legalization this year.
“I think it’s gonna pass from what I hear,” Cooper said. “We’re trying to make sure that we get good legislation that is fair to the taxpayers but also recognize that it’s something that’s going on anyway so we might as well get benefit for our schools and for our state.”
Of course, nothing is set in stone. There are no guarantees in the Legislature, so sports fans in North Carolina will have their fingers crossed as the new bill makes its way through the statehouse over the coming weeks.