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With bipartisan support from House members and leadership, the NC sports betting bill passed by the Senate will receive approval from the House by the end of the month, according to a sponsor of the House legislation.
North Carolina Rep. Kevin Corbin tells Legal Sports Report that S 154 will pass the House “with no problem.”
Knowing that the Senate was moving the bill, the House sat back and waited for it to come over. But that doesn’t mean the issue doesn’t have support.
While Corbin’s H 302 officially will die May 10 when it doesn’t pass the House by the crossover deadline for bills to move to the other chamber, it has key support from 24 lawmakers who will no doubt be behind the companion Senate bill.
“It’s not really controversial here,” Corbin said. “There’s been no kickback on it. The majority leader and finance chair are both sponsors on my bill, so it will definitely move. It’s got the support of leadership.”
The NC sports betting legislation adds sports wagering to the Class III games that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians can offer in the state.
The tribe operates two casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.
Both casinos are located in the districts of Corbin and Sen. Jim Davis, who shepherded S 154 through the Senate last month.
“Our feeling is the casinos are in our districts and the legislation will bring great economic impact to our districts,” Corbin said. “The legislation requires sports betting be done on site, at the brick-and-mortar locations.
“They can’t do it on their cell phones. They have to be here. This means people have to come to Cherokee or Murphy. We feel like that’s going to provide a $60-100 million annual economic impact to our region.”
The Senate bill currently is sitting in the House Committee on Rules, Calendar and Operations, awaiting assignment. Once the House completes efforts on bills from its own chamber by next week’s deadline, Corbin expects S 154 to be assigned to either the Finance or Judiciary committee.
Within two weeks of committee assignments, he projects the bill to be approved and headed to the governor’s desk.
The bill offers an effective start date for sports betting of July 1, though the North Carolina Gaming Commission needs to give the tribe a green light.
Corbin indicated that the legislature is leaving it up to the commission to determine if any rules and regulations are needed specific to legal sports betting.
Corbin stated that tribal leaders told him and Davis that they could have sportsbooks up and running within 90 days of passage. That would have them operational by football season.