Supporters confident North Carolina will legalise sports betting this year

The measure would authorise 10 to 12 mobile apps.
The measure would authorise 10 to 12 mobile apps.

Supporters of a bill to legalise mobile sports betting in North Carolina hope it to pass in time for the football season.

US.- Sports betting supporters in North Carolina hope to see legal online wagers in time for the next football season as Senate Bill 688 gains support. Last summer, the Senate approved the sports betting measure on a 26-19 vote and sent the bill to the House of Representatives for consideration. It is awaiting action in the House and could pass before June 30 when the legislative session ends.

The bill proposes an 8 per cent tax rate on gross gaming revenue. Half of the tax revenue would go to a newly created fund to help attract sports, entertainment and political events to the state. Also, $1m annually would be used to treat gambling addiction. Analysts predict that sports betting in North Carolina could generate between $25 and $50m in taxes.

If the bill passes, punters will be able to place bets at the state’s commercial land-based casinos and from their phones. SB 688 would allow the state lottery to issue 10-12 operating licences that would last five years and have an initial fee of $500,000 and a $100,000 renewal fee.

Platform and odds providers would be able to apply for licences, paying a $25,000 application fee and a $10,000 renewal fee. Other providers would be required to pay $15,000 and $5,000.

Bettors would be able to download apps to wager on professional and collegiate sports anywhere in North Carolina. At the moment, sports bettors in North Carolina can only bet at two tribal casinos operated by the Cherokee Indians.

State senator Paul Lowe told WRAL-TV he believes supporters have “drummed up” enough votes for the bill to make its way out of the Legislature. “I feel confident about it,” he said.

“We’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll. I’ve not heard any new opposition,” said state representative Jason Saine, an advocate of the bill. “I think we have a pretty smooth glide path once we do kind of start rolling into session.”

See also: New federal law authorises Catawba casino in North Carolina

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