A bill that would legalize sports betting across North Carolina probably won’t receive passage by the full Legislature in 2021, but advocates hope to push the bill next year.
Senate Bill 688 got the OK by a 12-4 vote from the House Commerce Committee two weeks ago, but the session ends this week. The bill would authorize mobile sports betting in North Carolina and permit the hosts of professional sports venues to set up on-site wagering. The bill would establish a tax rate of 8%, with some of that money going into a fund to promote tourism in the state.
North Carolina has legal sports betting at the two casinos in Cherokee and Murphy operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, but those who cannot make it to those facilities are placing their bets through offshore online operators.
Jordan Roberts, the government affairs associate for the John Locke Foundation, told Online Gambling that the bill’s sponsors seem to be gearing up for a big push during the 2022 legislative session.
“The bill sponsors in the House have stated that they understand there may not be the appetite in the waning hours of this session, but they still want to bring it up for discussion in committee to gauge the temperature of the House members and see where the concerns are with the bill,” he said.
Roberts expects SB 688 to be one of the first bills considered next year when the Legislature reconvenes.