For residents of North Carolina, it has been a very long wait to be able to bet on sports. It took plenty of patience, but now retail sports betting is available in the state.
After a few years of debating and arguing about its merits, many legislators and residents are standing firm behind the legalization of online sports betting.
However, it could still be quite a long time until online sports betting in North Carolina is available. So, as the wait begins, what should residents of North Carolina be wary of? What problems could arise from impatience?
Before we get into that, let us take a closer look at the process of legalizing online sports betting. And examine where that process stands at the moment.
House Bill 347 is on its way to becoming North Carolina law
So, where is North Carolina’s online sports betting bill right now in the process of becoming law?
First, Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincoln, filed the bill with the North Carolina General Assembly back on March 16. House Bill 347 would authorize many online sportsbooks; as many as 10 to 12 sportsbooks in total.
Then, on March 22, the North Carolina House of Representatives Commerce Committee passed the bill by a vote of 17-10. That vote propelled it to the House of Representatives Finance Committee.
Just two days later, on March 24, the bill passed the finance committee and also two others that put it in position to receive a floor vote. Less than a week later the North Carolina House of Representatives passed HB 347 by a vote of 64-45.
Now, after that successful run, the bill heads to North Carolina’s Senate — the original space that attempted to legalize online sports betting nearly two years earlier – where it should pass somewhat quickly.
With so much excitement surrounding the potential legalization of online sports betting, many might decide to get ahead of the curve and find ways to bet on sports online. Some might try to place bets utilizing overseas sportsbooks or other illegal means, but this can be an extremely treacherous path.
Why waiting for legal online sportsbooks in North Carolina is the best bet
Using these illegal means to place bets only puts bettors at risk. This is a big reason for the push to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina. Rep. Saine said via ABC 11:
“Sports betting is a form of entertainment, something that consenting adults with their own money should have the right to do. It is already happening, and ignoring the issue only makes it worse as other states around us continue to legalize it. The immoral thing is to let the illegal market continue.”
Offshore sportsbooks are completely unregulated and are by no means beholden to the same standards that regulated and licensed sportsbooks are. That means they can easily take advantage of the money invested on their platform and the personal information they receive from bettors.
For example, if someone bet on the University of North Carolina basketball team with one of these unregulated sportsbooks, the illegal platform could take the bet and refuse to pay out winnings to the bettor because they are unregulated and not obligated to any laws or code of ethics. That puts all of the risks of betting on the bettor – a less-than-ideal situation.
House Bill 347 will regulate and license 10 to 12 online sportsbooks that will operate legally in North Carolina. All of those licensed sportsbook platforms will have to go through rigorous and detailed application processes to prove that they will benefit the state while following specific guidelines. That process creates a much safer situation for bettors.
In addition to safety concerns, there are other reasons to avoid illegal sportsbooks. Such as the fact that the money gambled illegally will never benefit the community in the form of tax revenue. Inversely, when a bettor uses a licensed and regulated sportsbook, some of that money goes back to the community via privilege fees or other taxes.
So, the best advice for those who are itching to begin sports betting is to wait. Trust the process and do not risk your hard-earned money at an unregulated and likely illegal sports betting platform.