New bill aims to legalise online sports betting in North Carolina

The bill would allow for up to 12 mobile sportsbooks.
The bill would allow for up to 12 mobile sportsbooks.

HB 347 could bring legal mobile sports betting to the state.

US.- A bill to legalise mobile sports betting in North Carolina has been filed this week in the state’s House of Representatives. House Bill 347, filed by representative Jason Saine and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, would allow online wagering on sports by January 1, 2024.

The legislation allows for up to a dozen operators to acquire five-year renewable licences to take bets for $1m each. HB 347 would permit betting on professional, college, electronics and Olympic sports. North Carolina currently allows retail sports betting at tribal casinos. The North Carolina State Lottery Commission would regulate sports betting in the state.

The proposed legislation would set a tax rate of 14 per cent. Some $2m a year would go to the Department of Health and Human Services for gambling education and treatment programmes and $1m would go toward the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation to give counties equal grants of up to $10,000 for youth sports equipment and facility upgrades. 

The bill also plans to give up to $300,000 annually to the athletic departments of Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A&T University, North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina at Asheville, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and Winston-Salem State University. Another $1m of tax revenue would be distributed to the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council to award various grants. 

The remaining tax revenue would be split up among the athletic departments of the seven universities listed above (10 per cent), the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund (30 per cent), and the state’s general fund (60 per cent).

Saine said: “This bill is a bipartisan bill and we’ve learned a good bit from both sides about some of the tweaks that needed to happen. We’ve worked to accommodate those concerns, and we believe we have a bill that can do better than pass. It can get broad support from both caucuses.”

The bill’s other main sponsors are Republican representative John Bell, the House majority leader, and Democratic representatives Zack Hawkins and Ashton Clemmons. Saine also said conservatively it’s estimated the state would generate at least $50m per year in revenue from the market. Efforts to legalise sports betting in North Carolina failed by a single vote in 2022.

See also: North Carolina Education Lottery selects Pollard Banknote for digital support

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