North Carolina House sports betting bill heads to the Senate

HB347 will allow between 10 to 12 online sports betting operators.
HB347 will allow between 10 to 12 online sports betting operators.

HB347 has advanced out of the North Carolina House.

US.- House Bill 347, filed by representative Jason Saine and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, has advanced out of the North Carolina House after a 64-45 vote. It will now go to the Senate. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has already said he will sign it into law if it passes the senate.

HB347 would allow online wagering on sports by January 1, 2024. It allows for up to a dozen operators to acquire five-year renewable licences for $1m each. Betting would be permitted on professional, college, electronics and Olympic sports. The North Carolina State Lottery Commission would regulate sports betting, which is currently only allowed at tribal casinos in North Carolina.

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. Meanwhile, $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 would also 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 also said conservatively it’s estimated the state would generate at least $50m per year in revenue. Efforts to legalise sports betting in North Carolina failed by a single vote in 2022.

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