North Carolina Sports Betting Getting Close

By Betmaker Team

A digital sports betting measure, HB 347, was approved by the North Carolina Senate last week with a vote of 37-11. The legislation will now return to the House for approval before being sent to Governor Roy Cooper for signature. Up to 12 mobile sportsbooks, including four separate platforms, would be permitted under the proposed legislation. It is anticipated that the House will approve the bill this week. The bill was modified by the Senate and some of those modifications including raising the tax rate, delaying the debut, and prohibiting operators from deducting promotional play.


There has been just one additional state to start sports betting in 2023 and that is Kentucky. North Carolina is expected to be the second state that comes online in 2023. Vermont lawmakers approved a digital-only plan that would permit up to six platforms. Governor Phil Scott has not yet received the measure, but when he does, he is anticipated to sign it and then Vermont would be the third new state to start sports betting this year.


The new law in North Carolina would permit sports betting on Native American properties throughout the state outside of brick-and-mortar locations. A bill that was passed by lawmakers in 2020 permits two casinos that are controlled by tribes to provide retail gambling. Except for a suggested amendment that would have altered the bill's severability, there was little discussion on Thursday. As written, the idea would continue even if one part of it was found to be unconstitutional. One senator put forth an amendment that would have reversed that idea, making the entire bill invalid if even one part of it were proven to be unlawful. However, there wasn't much support for this amendment, and the Senate decided to table it.


While North Carolina will be approving legalized sports betting in the state, it could take up to a year before legal gambling begins in North Carolina. And that is assuming that HB 347 is passed by the House and Cooper signs it. The go-live date was changed from Jan. 8, 2024, to up to 12 months after the bill is passed by the Senate, among other revisions. The planned launch date would be June 2024 or earlier, assuming that the subsequent round of clearances proceeds promptly.


The North Carolina Senate also introduced horse racing betting, increased the tax rate from 14 to 18 percent, and listed eight commercial retail establishments that might house sportsbooks. Revenue from wagering is taxed at 20% and 15% in the border states of Tennessee and Virginia, respectively. The law was approved by the House in March by a vote of 64-45, and the Senate finally cleared it on the third reading.


The addition of North Carolina to the long list of states in the USA that allow sports betting will be welcome news to bettors in the South. North Carolina has professional sports teams and it is home to two of the most popular college basketball teams in Duke and North Carolina.