Finally, after much effort, the bill to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina just cleared the state’s Senate by a narrow margin. Next the bill is heading to the NC House of Representatives.
The House lawmakers are looking to maximize tax revenues on mobile sports betting by increasing the tax rate from 8% to 14%, as well as doubling the license fee from $500,000 to $1 million. The money brought in by legalization may entice lawmakers who were formerly opposed to it.
If all goes to plan North Carolina would become the 21st state to legalize mobile betting. Rep. Jason Saine, who is a sponsor of the bill estimates that mobile sports betting could bring in between $8 million and $24 million of revenue within its first year. “If the tax rate is increased as proposed, this number would double. We’ve been very intent on making sure that we have worked with supporters of the bill on all sides. Obviously, there are many moving parts to the governance of sports betting and we have been cautious not to release the language too quickly, opting instead to better perfect the bill”
However, despite the optimistic tones, the bill’s outcome remains unclear. Only time will tell if the bill has enough support to pass into law. Even with gambling’s iffy reputation in southern US states, a recent poll shows that the majority of North Carolinians believe sports gambling should be legalized. Currently, only two tribal-owned casinos operate in North Carolina – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino.
This update sets the stage for fans to place bets on teams like the Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks as soon as this summer. In her news release, Kelly noted that restaurants would be able to offer sports gambling too.