Can North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Continue Last Year’s Momentum?

Written By Pat Evans on May 16, 2022
North Carolina sports betting

A North Carolina mobile sports betting bill will start the 2022 session already on the final stretch.

The North Carolina General Assembly convenes Wednesday with sports betting legislation already through one chamber. The NC sports betting bill, SB 688, appears it could advance quickly, as it has the backing of House leadership, industry sources told LSR last week.

The legislation passed through the Senate, 26-19, and the House Commerce Committee, 12-4, last year. The session runs until June 30.

North Carolina House leadership ready to push

Legislation started on the Senate side last year with bipartisan co-sponsors. The bill that creates 10 to 12 online licenses maintains the bipartisan momentum heading into the spring session.

“It is trending in the right direction,” Rep. Jon Hardister told The Fayetteville Observer, who also said if passed, sports betting could launch by the end of the year.

Lobbyist Ches McDowell told LSR he is “optimistic the bill will pass this session.”

North Carolina sports teams get sportsbooks

Professional sports teams in NC support the legislation, which includes language allowing for on-site sports betting lounges at stadiums.

The language will allow for sports betting at:

  • PNC Arena
  • Spectrum Center
  • Bank of America Stadium
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway 
  • Quail Hollow Club

North Carolina governor supports bill

Gov. Roy Cooper publicly supported sports betting in the past.

Polls in the state are split on how North Carolinians feel about sports betting.

In April, a WRAL News survey found 52% of respondents want online sports betting in North Carolina. A Spectrum News/IPSOS poll around the same time found just 36% of registered voters support online sports betting.

Some changes expected to North Carolina bill

Sources suggest there will be a few technical changes to the bill.

Also likely to change will be the tax rate, which is set at 8% heading into the session.

A change to the tax rate might come via a separate bill so the main bill does not need to return to the Senate.

North Carolina sports betting already legal

Retail sports betting is already legal in North Carolina, with two Caesars sportsbooks open at tribally owned casinos in the western part of the state.

Those sportsbooks opened in early 2021.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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