North Carolina Casino Effort Losing Legislative Support

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The roller-coaster ride that has become North Carolina's attempt to introduce more casinos is facing another uphill challenge. This time, a key legislator has signaled that there's virtually no chance a measure to expand gambling in the state will make it into the budget.

The Speaker Has Spoken

Speaker of the House Tim Moore conveyed to his fellow Republicans that the proposition to establish new casinos within North Carolina has failed to garner adequate backing. As a result, it doesn't have enough support to be included in the state budget under his jurisdiction.

Related: North Carolina's Gambling Expansion Scrutinized for Campaign Contributions

Moore’s email addressed the Republican congress through an email on Wednesday evening, asserting that the state budget would not be approved by Republicans unless they obtained a minimum of 61 votes from House GOP members, which constituted a majority of the Chamber's total of 120 representatives. Additionally, Moore emphasized that there was an insufficiency of 61 Republicans who were willing to support a budget that encompassed sports.

Moore's email, sent Wednesday evening to the Republican congress, stated that the state budget cannot be approved by Republicans unless a minimum of 61 House GOP votes, which represents a majority of the 120 Chamber members, are obtained. Furthermore, Moore firmly expressed that not a single Republican within the House is prepared to cast their vote in favor of the budget if it encompasses any provisions related to casinos.

Too Many Roadblocks

In June, GOP leaders initially hinted at their openness toward addressing the casino situation. Their motivation stemmed from a desire to boost North Carolina's competitiveness against neighboring Virginia, which had already approved the establishment of multiple casinos. This initial indication coincided with lawmakers sending a bill to Governor Roy Cooper to legalize sports betting.

Over the summer, as the Republicans persistently labored on their blueprint discreetly, an immense wave of opposition ensued among inhabitants residing in the prospective sites of the forthcoming casinos. Just a few days ago, a delegation hailing from Rockingham and Nash counties embarked on a journey to Raleigh with a singular motive: to fervently implore Republican legislators to vehemently decline this proposed venture.

CPAC, a conservative political conference, and Donald Trump, Jr. raised significant concerns over the inclusion of casinos in the upcoming budget proposal on Thursday. They both strongly criticized the endeavor aimed at garnering support for the casino industry.