Legislative Committee Approves North Carolina Sports Betting Bill

The legislative process to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina took another important step on Nov. 4, but it is still highly unlikely that the process will end before the end of the year.

The House Commerce Committee approved Senate Bill 688 by a 12-4 vote. That follows a 26-19 vote to pass in the state Senate in August. 

Before the bill can reach the House floor, however, it must clear the Judiciary I, Finance and Rules and Operations committees.

Rep. Jason Saine told WNCT he does not expect the bill to be passed in 2021. The more likely occurrence will be that legislators discuss it in more detail over the next few months. He added that the goal is to pass the bill during the spring short session.

The Contents Of The Bill

The bill was introduced in April 2021. Here are some highlights:

  • Mobile-only options, though larger sporting venues like the ones owned by the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, and Carolina Hurricanes can open sports betting locations.
  • It would allow up to 12 licenses to be issued.
  • There would be a $500,000 initial licensing fee. Renewal fees would cost anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000.
  • The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission would receive 8% of the revenue.
  • In addition to normal payment methods, bets could be placed with credit cards and cryptocurrency.

Also Read: What will mobile betting mean for North Carolina sports fans?

Current North Carolina Sports Betting Options

The only two places you can legally place a bet in North Carolina are the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and the Cherokee Valley River Casino. At both locations, the sportsbook area is called The Book.

Both locations have chairs, widescreen televisions, and serving tables where bettors can get snacks and drinks. There is one wagering counter at each location.

North Carolina sports bettors who live close to the state’s borders with Tennessee and Virginia can cross state lines to place bets on one of the mobile apps allowed in those states. You can sign up for an account and deposit and withdraw money while in North Carolina, but if you want to place a bet, you have to physically be located in Tennessee or Virginia.

Update: In June 2023, Gov. Roy Cooper signed online sports betting legislation into law. Legal sportsbooks are slated to launch during the first half of 2024, with state bettors expected to be offered many enticing NC online sports betting promos and sign-up bonuses.

About the Author

Corey Roepken

Corey Roepken is a former News Editor for NC Sharp. Roepken has 20 years of experience as a sports journalist in Michigan, Texas, and Tennessee. Most notably, he covered professional and international soccer for the Houston Chronicle. He has also covered college softball, SEC football, the MLB, and the NFL.