North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Signed into Law

North Carolina Sports Betting
North Carolina sports betting has been signed into law, and mobile sportsbooks could launch as soon as January 2024.

Sports fans in North Carolina could be looking forward to wagering by the beginning of 2024, as Governor Roy Cooper has just signed the NC sports betting bill into law, ratifying House Bill 347.

How The NC Sports Betting Market Will Look

While retail sports betting has been available at tribal casinos in the state since 2020, the new law will permit online sportsbooks to open up. Up to 12 online sports betting sites will be licensed – and this comes with a fee of $1 million for a five-year license.

The bill will also give eight professional sports facilities the opportunity to team up with sports betting operators to launch sportsbooks.  It’s likely that we’ll see the North Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets open sports betting locations at their facilities, as well as venues like the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

NC Sports Betting Laws Over Time

In July 2019, Governor Cooper signed S154 into law, which ultimately legalized sports betting in the state of North Carolina. However, it only applied to tribal lands giving the Eastern Band of Cherokee the ability to operate in-person sportsbooks.

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In March 2021, North Carolina’s two Harrah’s casinos opened their retail sportsbooks, and it wasn’t long before lawmakers in the state wanted to expand the market even further. It was in April 2021 that Senators Jim Perry and Paul Lowe filed SB 688 to legalize mobile North Carolina sports betting.

By August, the bill was passed by the Senate and moved to the House. Over the course of the next year, things looked incredibly promising for SB 688 but, by June 2023, the lawmakers in the House voted against the bill.

Fortunately, all was not lost, but it would still be quite some time before the fight for legalized sports betting in North Carolina would pick up again. This time, the charge was led by Rep Jason Saine, who filed HB 347, and it received a favorable report from the state’s House of Representatives in March 2023.

Things moved along very quickly, as the bill passed on the House Floor on March 29th and by the North Carolina Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee on May 24th. On June 1st, it was based by the Senate and, a week later, it was passed by the House.

Then, it was straight on to the desk of Governor Roy Cooper, who was keen to sign it into law.

“The governor believes that North Carolina taxpayers should benefit from sports wagering, which is already occurring, and this legislation provides a way for that to happen within the bounds of the law. “ – reads a statement from the Governor.

Huge Potential for North Carolina Sports Betting Revenue

There is amazing potential for North Carolina to bring in billions of wagers, as the 9th largest state in the country. Ohio, which is the 8th largest state only launched legal sports betting on January 1st, and has handled $3 billion in wagers.

Sports fans in the state have already shown an appetite for wagering, as well. During the NFL season, over $150,000 residents of North Carolina attempted to access betting apps in neighboring states.

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