Carolina Disappointment: North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Falls Short Despite a Late Surge

North Carolina Sports Betting » North Carolina Betting News » Carolina Disappointment: North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Falls Short Despite a Late Surge

In the 2022 session, the mobile sports betting effort in North Carolina started slow but picked up pace this week before abruptly losing momentum on Wednesday evening. This development was closely followed by enthusiasts of North Carolina sports betting, who have been eagerly anticipating the launch of North Carolina sports betting apps and the various North Carolina sports betting promos that could accompany them.

After passing through three committees within a 24-hour period, the North Carolina House held a highly debated hearing on two sports betting bills. Ultimately, Senate Bill 688, which aimed to establish mobile sports betting in North Carolina, was defeated by a vote of 51-50 during its second reading. A subsequent reconsideration vote of 59-44 to send it back to the Rules, Calendar, and Operations Committee was unsuccessful.

On Wednesday, the House progressed with companion bill SB 38 during its reading. However, without SB 688, the prospect of sports betting in North Carolina for 2022 has effectively come to an end.

SB 688 had previously passed through the Senate and its initial House committee in 2021. Prior to this week’s flurry of activity, the legislation had remained relatively inactive during the weeks of the current session despite initial optimism from supporters.

Opposition voices grew stronger in North Carolina as well. Despite an agreement among lawmakers and apparent momentum in the House, several lengthy speeches against the legislation were delivered on the House floor. Representative Larry Pittman, one of these opponents, went as far as to equate sports betting with monetizing human trafficking.

“Considering these two bills,” Pittman later asked on the floor, “what would Jesus think?” “He’s very clear. I’m inclined to support him.”

Representative Abe Jones expressed his dissatisfaction with the bill, citing the values instilled in him by his father. Jones also voiced concerns about issues such as prostitution and exploitation arising from sports betting.

Representative Pricey Harrison was particularly vocal during the discussion, repeatedly emphasizing that the matter was not beneficial for North Carolina. Representative Marcia Morey added that the legislation seemed hurried for an industry where consumers often lose money.

The past 24 hours have been quite eventful regarding sports betting in North Carolina. In addition to receiving votes on the House floor, both bills garnered three favorable committee votes within a span of less than a day. This week, Senator Michael Garrett mentioned to Fox 8 WGHP that sports betting formed part of broader negotiations between the NC House and Senate.

Senator Jim Perry, the sponsor of SB 688, stated in committees this week that input from both chambers and the governor’s office resulted in a new trailer bill, SB 38. This revised bill aims to increase the state’s impact.

On Wednesday, Representative Jason Saine stated on the House floor that both bills are aligned and would require the passage of both to receive Governor Roy Cooper’s signature. Cooper had previously expressed support for this legislation, in media statements.

The proposed NC sports betting plan outlined in SB 688 aimed to establish between 10 to 12 online sports betting licenses, potentially including major players like BetMGM North Carolina. The new law allows for the establishment of sports betting lounges at sports venues in North Carolina.

This week, lawmakers in North Carolina introduced a substitute bill, SB 38, which focuses on making changes to the aspects of the sports betting legislation.

One of the changes proposed by SB 38 is an increase in the tax rate on sports betting revenue from 8% (as stated in the original bill) to 14%. Additionally, it suggests raising the license fee for sports betting operators from $500,000 to $1 million.

Several amendments were made to SB 38 during discussions on the House floor. Most of these amendments were technical in nature. However, one significant amendment was adopted that prohibits betting on college sports within North Carolina. This restriction could potentially limit the revenue generated from sports betting in a state that has a passion for collegiate athletics.

In a session held by the House Finance Committee on Wednesday, sponsors of the bill introduced an amendment that modifies how funds generated from sports betting will be utilized. The amendment reduces the percentage of proceeds allocated to a Major Events, Games, and Attraction Fund from 50% to 30%. This adjustment ensures consistency with regards to tax rate increases.

Additionally, as part of this amendment, 10% of funds will be distributed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in North Carolina, along with University of North Carolina at Asheville and UNC at Pembroke. Lawmakers also decided to shorten the sunset period for credits mentioned in the bill from five years to three years.

The sports betting scene in North Carolina revolves around two Harrah’s casinos, which are owned by tribes and offer Caesars Sportsbooks. Interestingly, North Carolina shares borders with two states, Tennessee and Virginia, where sports betting is legal.

Unfortunately, residents of North Carolina will have to wait a bit longer before they can enjoy mobile sports betting, a development eagerly anticipated by many who are looking forward to accessing a variety of betting platforms, including BetMGM North Carolina, and taking advantage of the diverse promos these platforms offer.

✅ Fact Checked on January 27, 2024 by Ken Weaver