North Carolina sports betting is back on track after three months of delay.
The bill that seeks to legalize sports wagering in the jurisdiction, SB 154, cleared the state Senate in early April by a vote of 42-7, but it did not advance past the chamber.
The stalemate was caused by the introduction of another bill that prescribes the establishment of a North Carolina Gaming Commission to regulate all gambling activities in the state, including DFS. The legislation, HB 929, would also authorize the commission to carry out a feasibility study on regulated sports wagering in the jurisdiction.
The sports gambling study clause in the new legislation confused lawmakers, with some representatives arguing that it was illogical to pass the North Carolina legal wagering bill before conducting a feasibility study of the market.
However, after three months of standoff, the jurisdiction’s legislature has succeeded in clearing the hurdles, and bettors in the Old North State could have legal sports wagering before the end of the year.
NC LAWMAKERS COULD PASS SPORTS BETTING BILL THIS WEEK
The House Commerce Committee passed SB 154 on a voice vote in a Tuesday session, and the legislation is back to the Rules Committee for more discussion. The hearing will take place on Wednesday.
One of the proponents of legal wagering in the jurisdiction, Rep. Kevin Corbin, is optimistic that the bill will clear the Rules Committee and advance to the floor of the House for a vote by Thursday.
If passed, the legislation will authorize two tribal casinos owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer legal sports betting services to residents of the state.
OVERCOMING THE HURDLES
The input of Rep. Kevin Corbin will be remembered as North Carolina sports betting moves forward.
The legislator took it upon himself to convince the leadership of the House that both HB 929 and SB 154 could be passed concurrently.
In his argument, Corbin explained to his fellow legislators that the two bills were entirely different, and neither of them would interfere with the other.
The lawmaker went on to clarify that SB 154 seeks to add sports betting and horse race wagering at the existing tribal casinos, as opposed to creating more gambling in the state. As such, it would make sense to roll out wagering at the tribal casinos as the jurisdiction carried out a feasibility study on expanding the market outside of the gaming venues.
Corbin also added that the Native Indian tribe is not opposed to HB 929, which makes it possible for both bills to pass at once.
HOW WILL NORTH CAROLINA SPORTS BETTING LOOK?
Senate Bill 154 will allow North Carolina bettors to place onsite wagers on sporting activities and horse races at the state’s two tribal casinos.
Betting on Daily Fantasy Sports will also be legal under House Bill 929.
Should HB 929 become law, the state will create a new gaming commission to take over the mandate of NC State Lottery Commission and oversee all gambling activities in the jurisdiction. The scope of the gaming commission will extend to DFS, bingo and raffles, boxing, casino gaming, sports betting, and lottery games.
However, none of the bills has a mobile sports betting component, which rules out online wagering in the jurisdiction.