Last June, online sports gambling legislation failed by a slim margin. Now, in just a two-day span, a new mobile North Carolina sports betting bill has received favorable votes in three committees in the state House of Representatives.
On Wednesday, HB 347 was approved in both the House Finance Committee and in a Judiciary Committee vote. On Tuesday, the bill passed favorably out the Commerce Committee.
The next stop is a Rules Committee and, assuming a favorable vote there, it would head to the floor of the full House, probably next week.
Legislation on mobile North Carolina sports betting apps still faces approval in the state Senate.
Bi-Partisan Sponsorship of Bill
The bill’s chief sponsors are two Republicans and two Democrats. More than 50 members of the House, including those of both parties, already have endorsed the bill.
Introducing the bill to the committee phase was Republican Rep. Jason Saine, who also championed last year’s effort to pass online sports gambling legislation. That proposal failed by a slim margin last summer.
Saine pointed out that North Carolina residents can travel to nearby Virginia and Tennessee to bet on sports online and that North Carolina was losing out on the revenue from those transactions.
Saine pointed out that since last year, fellow legislators had offered suggestions for any new version of a mobile sports wagering bill and that proponents had listened and tried to incorporate some of those recommendations.
Changes From 2022 Bill To Current Version
Among the changes from the 2022 version is that the tax rate on gambling operators is higher, 14%, compared to the 8% tax rate in the previous version.
In addition, the distribution of tax money includes more purposes.
Just some of those proposed in HB 347 are:
- Addressing problem gambling would get $2 million.
- An appropriation of $300,000 each would go to several colleges in the state, including Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, UNC Asheville, UNC Pembroke and Winston-Salem State.
- Funds of $1 million would go to the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council to be distributed as grants.
Some further details are that 10 to 12 mobile licenses would be issued, and wagering would be limited to customers 21 and older.
Major sportsbook operators would offer NC sports betting promo codes once a launch is set to entice customers to sign up.
The state has retail sports wagering at three Native American casinos – two Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians casinos in the western part of the state and the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain.