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North Carolina Senate Votes in Favor of Sports Betting Legislation

The legislation to introduce licensed and regulated online sports betting within North Carolina passed through its first state Senate committee vote this week. Supporters of the bill managed to overcome those more conservative voters, who have stood against the introduction of sports betting, stating that it will generate more problem gamblers.

There is a lot of support for sports betting in North Carolina

The chief sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Jim Perry, said that many people within North Carolina are already placing bets by using offshore or out-of-state platforms. Therefore, he said, it makes more sense to regulate the activities of gamblers from within. And subsequently, the state can then generate revenue from this, which can be put towards education.

As things stand in the USA already, at least 20 of the states, as well as the District of Columbia, provide sports betting opportunities to their residents. Where North Carolina is concerned, sports betting was made legal in 2019, although this requires people to visit one of two retail locations within the state to proceed with such. Online gambling is not something that exists for the moment – at least on a state-licensed level.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened those betting operations, which are found at its two casino establishments to the far west of the state. The introduction of the new legislation would allow the North Carolina Education Lottery Commission to provide between 10 and 12 gambling licenses for sports betting to operators interested in offering such. Supplier licenses would also be granted via this regulatory body, and all applicants would be undergoing a criminal background check.

Operators would be able to proceed with on-site sports betting as well as online options, providing residents with the opportunity to gamble on college, professional and some amateur sporting events.

North Carolina’s government would then collect money from license fees, which would be $500,000 per operator initially, as well as an 8% tax on gross revenue from each operator. Half of the net proceeds would be added to a specific fund set up to bring sporting events and other attractions to North Carolina, while the remainder would be put into the state’s treasury. Estimates suggest that between $8 million and $24 million could be garnered from North Carolina residents this way.

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