A bill to legalize online North Carolina sportsbooks is still on schedule to make its rounds through the state Senate in Raleigh, according to the bill’s sponsor in the House.
HB 347, which would allow anywhere from 10 to 12 online sports betting licenses in the state, passed the lower chamber in North Carolina by a 64-45 margin on March 29. It now must go through the Senate before the legislature’s sine die on Aug. 31, which Rep. Jason Saine doesn’t see as an obstacle.
In an emailed statement to BetCarolina.com, Rep. Saine said that the Senate will do its due diligence on HB 347 but said there’s no reason to believe that the bill is in peril of failing.
The Senate passed a sports betting bill in 2022 that ultimately died on the House floor, which gives further credence to the notion that 2023 could be a different story for North Carolina, Rep. Saine added.
“I feel like the bill is in good shape in the Senate. I’ve been discussing with key Senators all along and as they take it up in the coming weeks, I feel from our conversations few changes will be needed or expected on their end,” Saine said.
One example of a possible tweak? Rep. Saine: “I do believe horse betting will be added back to the bill but not dog racing - we simply couldn’t get the language right before we were ready to move the bill and opted to let them do that work.”
What iGaming Insiders Are Saying About HB 347’s Chances
It appears that Rep. Saine isn’t the only one that’s bullish on the immediate future of North Carolina sportsbook apps.
Brendan Bussmann, who is the managing partner of B Global Advisors, said that this year’s betting bill has already survived its greatest challenge, that being the state House. Now, Bussmann believes that HB 347 should face a smooth path towards passage in the chamber, as long as lawmakers can come together on the minute details that Rep. Saine alluded to.
“Sports betting has always been challenged in the House, so the Senate seems like an easier path based upon history,” Bussmann said. “The devil is in the details but I’m optimistic about the prospects of mobile wager.”
A major reason why HB 347 hasn’t advanced past a first reading in the Senate in the 13 days since the bill cleared the House is the laundry list of more pressing subjects that the chamber’s been dealing with, Bussmann said.
Once the Senate returns from their spring break and the chamber advances past the state’s May 4 crossover deadline, there will be an opening to take up sports betting discourse, he added.
With four months to play with and a litany of legislative priorities to churn through, there’s nothing but time for HB 347 to clear the Senate in Raleigh, allowing North Carolina to join Kentucky as the only state to legalize sports betting during the 2023 legislative cycle.
“While not the highest priority on the list, it may be a slight delay in getting this up for a vote, but I would not take it as a sign of things to come,” Bussmann added. “This comes down to legislative priorities and there just happens to be things higher on the list right now.”
If and when HB 347 successfully goes through the Sentate, BetCarolina is your home for North Carolina sports betting promo codes for new customers for signing up.