As a result of legislation approved Thursday by the North Carolina Senate, sports gambling will be legal across the state, with up to a dozen entities licensed to offer online and in-person wagering.
Despite a majority vote against the bill in the Senate, the bipartisan legislation advances to the House. The measure was approved by 26-19 votes with nine Republicans joining many Democrats in favor of sports gambling.
It is hard for conservatives to condone wagering if the state is not involved. However, Bill supporters assert that this type of gambling already takes place, since players bet from out-of-state locations using online apps. Those who argue for its regulation say that revenues may be better used for public education if they are collected, through sports gambling.
Sen. Jim Perry said:
“If this is voluntary tax from existing market participants, that makes more sense to me”
The commission would be required to issue between ten and twelve licenses to operators and suppliers of interactive sports wagering services. 8% of the gross revenues of an operator would be collected by the state. Sports events and attractions would receive half of the proceeds to be used to attract tourists to the state. Other funds would be directed to the state’s formal coffers. These are some of the perks of legalizing sports gambling in North Carolina.
Licensing recipients could start offering sports betting as early as January, including odds from college games, professional games, and some amateur sports. In addition, the operators could establish an in-person betting location inside or near a professional sports arena, or where an annual professional golf tournament is held, which can generate money through sports gambling/
One version of the bill was examined by the legislature’s fiscal staff, which estimated the combined annual collection could range from $8 million to $24 million from sports gambling.
The Senate’s GOP leadership is unusually willing to put up a measure for a vote if there is little support from GOP colleagues. Senator Phil Berger of Eden, who was among the Republicans who voted in favor of the bill, said afterward that sports wagering had been debated for some time, and “I felt it was now more important than ever to allow the Senate to flesh out what it wants.”