Online sports betting in North Carolina is on the verge of becoming legalized. Theres some good news as a key hurdle has been removed.

The bill for North Carolina sportsbooks, known as HB 347 made significant progress on Tuesday. Both the Senate Finance Committee and the Rules Committee advanced the bill paving the way for a final Senate vote on Thursday after a second reading vote on Wednesday. The bill aims to legalize North Carolina betting apps and sportsbooks, potentially attracting major operators through North Carolina sportsbook promo codes and incentives.

Back in March HB 347 was approved by the House with a vote of 64 45. If it gets passed by the Senate well it will need to undergo some changes agreed upon by both chambers before being presented to Governor Roy Cooper. Once Governor Cooper signs off on it this legislation will take effect in January 2024. Require an operational launch within 12 months.

However an interesting development occurred this week when lawmakers decided to remove certain language from the bill. This particular language would have allowed for horse racing (HHR), in North Carolina. By removing this addition they have managed to avoid any obstacles that could have hindered its final approval.

Week senators introduced that specific language which could have led to live horse racing events and HHR devices resembling slot machines being legalized in North Carolina. It was proposed as an amendment aimed at expanding the legislation to include betting on horse racing through FanDuel North Carolina and other sports betting operators. The idea of constructing a horse racing track in North Carolina before setting up HHR machines faced opposition, particularly from the North Carolina tribes who have exclusive rights to gaming in the state and operate the three existing in person sportsbooks. According to industry sources lawmakers are likely to remove the additional horse racing language.

Furthermore senators introduced an amendment on Tuesday that includes fixes and language aimed at aiding the North Carolina Education Lottery Commission in regulating the industry. One notable addition is a 12 month timeframe following the date of January 8 2024.

In developments the Commerce & Insurance Committee increased the sports betting revenue tax rate from 14% to 18% last week and eliminated deductions for promotional credits. Since bills including tax rates require two Senate votes as per North Carolina requirements it is expected that HB 347 will be deliberated on twice this week when it reaches the Senate floor.

Last year sports betting legislation received approval from the Senate but fell short by one vote in the House.

Following last sessions unsuccessful passage of the Senate bill, in the House Representative Jason Saine has taken up similar legislation this year and is leading its advancement. The proposed legislation aims to legalize the operation of up to 12 sportsbooks in North Carolina. Additionally it permits the establishment of sportsbooks at professional sports venues within the state. Advocates for sports betting legalization include teams like the Carolina Hurricanes and Charlotte Hornets.

Tax revenue generated from sports betting will be allocated to areas, such as educational programs and treatment for gambling addiction as well as funding for the Division of Parks and Recreation. Lawmakers have also designated tax dollars to support university athletic departments, across North Carolina.

✅ Fact Checked on January 17, 2024 by Ken Weaver