On June 1, 2023, the North Carolina Senate voted to approve the HB 347 bill, which seeks to legalize sports betting in the Old North State. The bill will now be tabled to Governor Roy Cooper.
If the governor accepts the bill, the state will become home to up to 12 legal sports betting sites, four being standalone platforms. The bill, amended severally in the Senate, is expected to sail through the House when tabled.
A Tweet from Brian Murphy, a sports investigative reporter, said the following:
“Speaker Tim Moore says NC House will concur with Senate changes to sports gambling bill early next week.”
This was confirmed by the House Speaker, Tim Moore, who told the press that they are going to concur about it on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Senate introduced several changes, such as:
Kentucky is the only state in the United States to legalize sports betting in 2023. Vermont is another state where internet betting could soon become a reality, with the bill awaiting the signature of Governor Phil Scott.
The North Carolina Senate voted to widen the scope of sports betting beyond physical casinos owned by Native American tribes. In 2020, lawmakers in the state voted to allow two tribal casinos to offer legal in-person betting opportunities.
The current bill stipulates that the proposals remain valid even if one segment is judged unlawful. A senator proposed a reverse to that structure, although the legislators were not keen on it. Instead, the Senate voted to postpone the proposed amendment.
But North Carolina residents will have to wait at least a year to try legal sports betting if HB 347 becomes law. The latest amendment from the Senate has pushed the implementation date from January 8, 2024, to 12 months after the bill is signed into law. If everything goes according to plan, North Carolina could legalize sports betting by June 2024.
Meanwhile, the Senate voted to increase the tax rate from 14% to 18%. The lawmakers also increased horse racing bets and allowed eight retail venues to operate sportsbooks. Tennessee and Virginia, North Carolina’s border states, have 20% and 15% tax revenues, respectively.