Although sports betting in North Carolina is still very much illegal, the proposed Senate bill 688, championed by two senators, Paul Lowe and Jim Perry, would allow up to 12 online betting licenses. Additionally, the bill would permit sports facilities that organize professional events with capacities of over 17,000 fans to build wagering platforms via mobile devices or PC websites. This could include the arenas and stadiums that house the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, and the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. It has become a growing trend around the country to organize sportsbooks at professional sports sites.
Both senators advocate for the bill to become law on October 1st. Fortunately, lawmakers in North Carolina are still in session until July 30th, which gives them sufficient time to proceed with the bill. Interestingly, there was a similar case in March 2019 where the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians got to sign a new gambling compact with Governor Roy Cooper. The arrangement gave them the chance to offer retail brick-and-mortar betting in NC. The problem was that it took almost two years before they were officially allowed to accept retail sports wagering.
The proposed Senate Bill 688 will regulate and authorize legal sports betting in North Carolina since sports bettors will now have limited access to wagering through sportsbooks. Currently, the state has only two tribal casinos where legal sports betting can happen, or bettors can partake in casino games. The problem here is that players need to travel down to the site before they can begin. One interesting argument for the legalization of sports betting is that about 30% of the lottery commission goes to education. The entire net proceeds of North Carolina's Education Lottery are used for education expenses. Legalizing sports betting could help pay for education expenses as well as school construction costs.