North Carolina

North Carolina passes sports betting bill

North Carolina’s Rules and Operations of the Senate Committee has passed a bill approving sports betting in the state.

The bill

Under Senate Bill 688, both retail and online commercial sports betting can take place. The North Carolina Lottery Commission will also act as a regulator to issue licenses to operators and suppliers in the state.

Players can, however, only place bets at or within half a mile of certain sports facilities or properties owned by the operators of those sports facilities. Examples include NFL stadiums, NBA stadiums, and racetracks.

This was further defined as “a facility that hosts professional sports and has a minimum seating capacity of 17,000 people or a facility that hosts a professional golf tournament annually.”

A boost to the state

North Carolina will benefit from the industry by receiving 8% of the proceeds generated. It also plans to charge no more than 12 state licenses for online sports betting venues. This does not include tribal licenses.

Venues will be required to pay $500,000 (£365,271) for a license and $100,000 (£73,054) to renew it on an annual basis. Vendors that supply licensed gaming operations will also be required to pay a license fee.

The bill is also set to establish a fund to attract major sporting events to the state.

Mixed opinions

Senator Jim Perry admitted it was difficult to persuade fellow lawmakers to support the idea: “Prohibition doesn’t work,” he told the Senate. “We know that activity takes place today, whether we like it or not.”

16 Republicans voted against the bill whilst ten voted in favour of it. Five Democrats, on the other hand, voted no whilst 16 voted yes.

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