Online NC sports betting is a step away from completing its journey in the North Carolina General Assembly.
On a second reading without debate and roll call vote Tuesday morning, the House voted to concur with Senate amendments on HB 347, 67-42. House leadership plans to vote on the online North Carolina sports betting legislation for a final time Wednesday, sending the bill to Gov. Roy Cooper, who is expected to sign it.
The Senate advanced the legislation last week, after which House Speaker Tim Moore said his chamber would concur with the amendments. With Cooper’s signature, regulators will prepare for the NC online sports betting launch, which cannot start before Jan. 8, 2024.
What will NC sports betting look like?
Sports betting is already legal in North Carolina, as legislators approved in-person sportsbooks at tribal casinos in 2020. HB 347 opens the industry to commercial operators, including up to 12 online sportsbooks.
Operators also can partner with professional sports organizations for in-person sportsbooks at eight facilities across the state. That includes the home venues for:
- NBA’s Charlotte Hornets
- NFL’s Carolina Panthers
- NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes
The Senate amended the bill to include online horse racing.
Revenue potential for North Carolina
The Senate also amended the original House proposal to raise the sports betting revenue tax rate from 14% to 18%. The Senate also prohibited promotional deductions from revenue.
Legislative fiscal analysis projects sports betting can bring the state $10 million in its first year. That projection bumps up to $100.6 million by the fifth year.
Tax revenue will fund various causes, including amateur sports, multiple collegiate athletic departments, and gambling addiction education and treatment.
Long road ending in North Carolina
If Cooper signs the sports betting legislation, it will end this proposal’s long journey. This year’s bill is essentially the same as a 2021 Senate effort that failed to pass the House by one vote last spring.
This year, Rep. Jason Saine brought back the legislation and it easily passed the House in March, 64-45.
While the Senate made some adjustments, lawmakers worked to ensure it was agreeable to the House before sending it back.