The state of North Carolina is continuing to work on sports betting legislation, and a bill has now taken the next step. The Senate passed Senate Bill 688 in August, and it has now made its way to the House.
Earlier this week, SB 688 was assigned to four different committees in the House for review. These committees will ultimately decide the next step for SB 688, and senators are hoping for a positive outcome.
This bill has already passed an initial reading in the House, but that was over a month ago. The fact that this bill has been stalled for weeks might not be a good sign for its future.
There was some hope that SB 688 would gain quick approval, but Representatives aren’t even scheduled to meet this week. It appears that sports betting will likely have to wait until 2022 in North Carolina as there as still plenty of hurdles remaining.
If this process is stretched out into next year, lawmakers could pick up where they left off in 2021. Other states don’t allow for this process to happen, but favorable laws in North Carolina can help.
Details of SB 688
The North Carolina Lottery Commission would oversee and regulate the sports betting industry if this bill passes. According to the bill, between 10 and 12 sports betting operators would be approved to offer to bet in the state.
The cost of a sports betting license in North Carolina would be set at $500,000, and gross revenue would be taxed at a rate of 8 percent. Both of these figures are in line with other states and should attract nearly all of the big operators in the US.
Retail Betting is Available
Retail sports betting is already available in North Carolina, but it is being done on a tiny scale. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has been given clearance to accept wagers after a new gaming compact was signed.
Mobile sports betting is the top choice of sports bettors throughout the US, and North Carolina is hoping to join the growing industry. That’s understandable, considering more than 50% of the global gambling traffic comes from mobile devices. According to a projection from state lawmakers, the state could see between $8 and $24 million in tax revenue when the industry is up and running.
Residents in Favor
It is still too early to tell if enough lawmakers favor SB 688 as it is currently written to give it final approval. Thanks to East Carolina University, there is already an answer as to where residents stand on sports betting.
According to a poll from ECU, 54 percent of North Carolina residents support legal sports betting. That’s not an overwhelming majority, but this is a state with modest or limited gaming industry.
One interesting statistic from the poll noted that 70 percent of those residents between 18-44 favor sports betting. This is typically the age that is targeted by the US sports betting industry.