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North Carolina General Assembly Legalizes Sports and Horse-Race Wagering

Updated: Aug 2, 2023



Southland Entertainment is happy to announce a groundbreaking development in North Carolina's gambling landscape. The North Carolina General Assembly has finalized legislation, paving the way for statewide authorization and regulation of sports and horse-race wagering. This momentous choice will open the way to a horde of legal gambling choices, making North Carolina the 10th biggest state in the country to embrace this thrilling industry.


Following a resonating 68-45 vote for the bill, with the Senate's final changes, it anticipates the mark of Lead representative Roy Cooper. Lead representative Cooper has communicated his support for legalized sports gambling, leaving almost certain that he is supposed to sign the action into regulation. When authorized, this legislation will empower online betting on professional, college, and Olympic-style sports and cutoff in-person wagering for grown-ups aged 21 and over. The execution of these new provisions is projected to start within the following six to a year.


The action appreciated boundless support, with almost 50% of the House's members supporting the bill from its commencement, and it, at last, got bipartisan moving in the two offices of the Republican-controlled legislature. Currently, legal sports gambling in North Carolina is only accessible at the state's three casinos, operated by two American Indian tribes. Apart from a lottery introduced in 2006, there are limited avenues for legal gambling within the state. Recognizing the prevalence of illegal sports betting activities through offshore platforms or unauthorized bookies, the bill sponsors said that such activities' authorization, regulation, and taxation are the most effective means of control.


Speaking on the "Ovies & Giglio" podcast show, Governor Cooper expressed his enthusiasm for the legislation, stating, "This is something that has been going on. The North Carolina taxpayers should get the benefit of this. It's pretty good legislation now."


While preparations are underway for betting to commence as early as January, the newly established commission responsible for overseeing this sector will have until June 2024 to finalize the necessary arrangements.


Notably, approximately half of the nationwide states already permit mobile or online sports betting, including North Carolina's neighboring states, Virginia and Tennessee. Representative Jason Saine, a chief bill sponsor, emphasized the impact of neighboring states' gambling offerings on North Carolina's economy, stating that the loss of revenue to other states played a significant role in garnering support from colleagues who may not have considered the legislation previously.


Under the legislation, the North Carolina Lottery Commission will manage all these new gambling options. The commission will issue up to 12 interactive sports wagering licenses to entities subject to rigorous background checks and a $1 million application fee.


Moreover, the legislation enables the opening of sportsbooks at or near prominent professional sports venues, such as NASCAR racecourses and major golf tournaments. Individuals can make cash bets at these locations without needing online accounts through operating betting companies.


The bill's final version also grants separate licenses for horse-race gambling operators to offer thoroughbred racing, with the commission empowered to establish regulations for live horse racing within the state.


The legislation stipulates a tax rate equivalent to 18% of gross betting revenue minus winnings for sports wagering. Although an earlier proposal in the House suggested a similar 14% tax rate with more deductions, the final version was adopted. Legislative analyst's estimate that, following expenses, the state stands to generate $71 million annually by mid-2028 from both sports wagering and horse racing. Substantial portions of the tax revenues from sports wagering will be allocated to local, regional, and state athletics initiatives, athletic programs at most University of North Carolina system schools, and problem-gambling programs.


This momentous legislation denotes an intriguing new part for North Carolina individuals, offering expanded legal gambling opportunities and the potential for significant monetary advantages. Stay tuned for additional updates as we constantly work to execute these progressions and usher in the state's new era of dependable and controlled gambling.


www.southlandentertainment.com


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