North Carolina Senate to Vote on House Bill 347, Potentially Legalizing Statewide Sports Wagering
House Bill 347 in North Carolina aims to legalize widespread sports wagering in the state. The bill would allow adults to place bets on various sports through electronic devices and establish eight in-person sportsbooks at venues across the state. The Senate is expected to vote on the bill, and if it passes, it would still need approval from the House and the governor before becoming law, potentially delaying the implementation until mid-June 2024. The legislation has undergone significant modifications, including changes to the tax rate, deductions for promotional credits, and the allowance of in-person cash betting at specific sports venues. The bill also outlines the allocation of funds generated from license fees and taxes, including contributions to gambling addiction education and treatment programs, grants for youth sports participation, support for athletic departments at universities, and funding for the North Carolina Heritage Advisory Council. The bill’s proponents believe it will generate significant revenue for the state, with an estimated $10 million in the first year and $100.6 million by the fifth year. However, opponents argue that the net state impact will be minimal in relation to the current state budget. The bill also includes provisions regarding the number of licensed operators, application criteria, and partnerships with in-state businesses. If passed, the legislation would expand on the existing sports gambling options available at tribal casinos in North Carolina.