NC Mobile Sports Betting Still Has a Pulse, But Faces Long Odds after Wild Week

NC Mobile Sports Betting Still Has a Pulse, But Faces Long Odds after Wild Week

After its five-hour session on Wednesday and no constructive action on Thursday, the House of Representatives will have six days to do something with its in-limbo North Carolina sports gambling bills, as the current legislative session is set to end June 30. 

Unless… 

With nothing related to sports wagering during Thursday’s House session, House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) reportedly told members the next floor session will take place on Monday 3 p.m. and that the June 30 deadline for the end of session might be extended if work was needed to be done to finish any bills. 

BetCarolina.com received Monday’s House calendar late Thursday afternoon and nothing has been scheduled for that day. The current session started in late May. 

There were no votes on any pending legislation scheduled on the House floor for the rest of the day Thursday until Monday and if any votes were to take place, those would more than likely start on Monday evening. 

Moore also reportedly told members the top focus entering next week will be on approving the state’s budget.

There are discussions ongoing on how to get SB 38, the one sports betting bill that did pass the House on second reading Wednesday, to the floor. Because the companion bill to legalize mobile sports betting, SB 688, was voted down, it could be a longshot.

At least there are still discussions going on before the final push of the session.

The House would still need to give a final OK to Senate Bill 38 a second time. But it was written to complement SB 688, an issue that would need to be addressed. Then SB 38 would have to go back to the Senate for concurrence. If all that happens, then it would go to Gov. Roy Cooper for his signature. He has been supportive of mobile sports betting in the past. Again, that's a lot of heavy lifting in a short amount of time.

‘Not Totally Dead’

After Wednesday’s vote, Rep. Jason Saine, a key supporter of mobile sports betting who was optimistic going into the legislative session, said it “is not totally dead,” according to the Associated Press.

“It could resurface depending on what happens,” he said. “If not, sports wagering is going to remain an issue for the state of North Carolina because states around us are doing it.”

Tennessee and Virginia, which border North Carolina, currently have online-only sports betting markets. Retail sports betting is legal at two Cherokee casinos in western North Carolina.

Wednesday Review

Both bills were passed and approved out of the House Finance and Rules committees Wednesday to move to the House Floor. Earlier in the week, the bills were approved by the Judiciary Committee.

One of the state’s sports betting bills, SB 38, passed by a 51-50 vote late Wednesday and was moved to a third reading. However, that bill was taken off Thursday’s House session calendar and moved back to the Rules Committee for more discussion and clarification after its companion bill, SB 688, failed by a 52-49 vote on its second reading Wednesday night. 

SB 38 has attachments that would up the tax rate to 14% and the renewal fee to $1 million, but most stunning, an amendment that was actually approved Wednesday night to ban college sports betting in the state. 

SB 688, which was approved by the state Senate last year, includes up to 12 mobile sports operators, an 8% tax rate and a $1 million license fee with a $100,000 renewal.

The Votes on SB 38

The votes from the 120-member North Carolina House on SB 38 Wednesday night, according to www.ncleg.gov. The bill was approved, 51-50:

Voting Yes

  • Democrat: Brockman; Brown; Carney; Clemmons; Cunningham; Dahle; Everitt; Farkas; Garrison; Harris; Hunt; Hunter; John; Lofton; Logan; Lucas; Majeed; Richardson; Roberson; K. Smith; R. Smith; Turner; Willingham; Wray
  • Republican: Bell; Elmore; Faircloth; Gillespie; Goodwin; Greene; K. Hall; Hanig; Hardister; Humphrey; Johnson; Lambeth; Miller; Moffitt; Moss; Paré; Pickett; Pyrtle; Saine; C. Smith; Strickland; Szoka; Warren; Watford; Willis; Winslow; Yarborough

Voting No

  • Democrat: Adcock; Ager; Alston; Autry; Ball; Belk; Buansi; Butler; Cooper-Suggs; Gailliard; Gill; Harrison; Hurtado; A. Jones; Morey; Pierce; Quick; Reives; Rudow; von Haefen
  • Republican:  Adams; Arp; K. Baker; Blackwell; Boles; Brisson; Brody; Cleveland; Dixon; Hastings; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Kidwell; Loftis; McElraft; McNeill; Mills; Penny; Pittman; Pless; Potts; Riddell; Setzer; Shepard; Stevens; Torbett; Wheatley; White; Zenger

Not Voting

  • Democrat: None
  • Republican: Clampitt; D. Hall (Chair); B. Jones; McNeely; Sasser; Tyson

Excused Absence

  • Democrat:  Alexander; A. Baker; Graham; Hawkins; Martin; Meyer; Terry
  • Republican: Bradford; Davis; Rogers; Sauls; Zachary

The Votes On SB 688

The House votes Wednesday night on SB 688, according to www.ncleg.gov. It failed, 52-49.

Voting Yes

  • Democrat: Brockman; Brown; Carney; Clemmons; Cunningham; Dahle; Everitt; Farkas; Garrison; Harris; Hunt; Hunter; John; Lofton; Logan; Lucas; Majeed; Richardson; Roberson; K. Smith; R. Smith; Turner; Willingham; Wray
  • Republican: Faircloth; Gillespie; Goodwin; Greene; K. Hall; Hanig; Hardister; Humphrey; Johnson; Lambeth; Miller; Moffitt; Moss; Paré; Pickett; Pyrtle; Saine; C. Smith; Strickland; Szoka; Warren; Watford; Willis; Winslow; Yarborough

Voting No

  • Democrat: Adcock; Ager; Alston; Autry; Ball; Belk; Buansi; Butler; Cooper-Suggs; Gailliard; Gill; Harrison; Hurtado; A. Jones; Morey; Pierce; Quick; Reives; Rudow; von Haefen
  • Republican: Adams; Arp; K. Baker; Bell; Blackwell; Boles; Brisson; Brody; Cleveland; Dixon; Elmore; Hastings; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Kidwell; Loftis; McElraft; McNeill; Mills; Penny; Pittman; Pless; Potts; Riddell; Setzer; Shepard; Stevens; Torbett; Wheatley; White; Zenger

Not Voting

  • Democrat: None
  • Republican: Clampitt; D. Hall (Chair); B. Jones; McNeely; Sasser; Tyson

Excused Absence

  • Democrat: Alexander; A. Baker; Graham; Hawkins; Martin; Meyer; Terry
  • Republican: Bradford; Davis; Rogers; Sauls; Zachary
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Author

Lou Monaco
Reporter/journalist

Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.

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