North Carolina could be the next target for the sports betting industry. SB 688 is expected to legalize sports betting this year.
What are the Details of the Sports Betting Bill
In 2021, SB 688 passed the Senate but must now pass the House in order to reach Gov. Ray Cooper’s desk for consideration and to be signed into law. The operation is most likely going to be a success if the bill could get the House’s approval.
Gov. Cooper has gone on record saying that he supports sports betting being legalized in the Tar Heel State. As of right now, bettors across the state can only place wagers at only a pair of retail sportsbook locations that are situated on tribal lands.
A news outlet in the state has conducted a poll, and it suggests that there is widespread support for legalized mobile sports betting to take place. The writing of the bill states that the state would award 10-12 mobile sports betting licenses to operators that are looking to enter the state.
The licensing fee would cost these bookmakers $500,000. Mobile and retail sports betting would be allowed, but retail sportsbooks must be within a half-mile of a sports venue. Bettors would also be allowed to place wagers on professional, collegiate, amateur, and esports.
In SB 688, a tax rate of eight percent is imposed on adjusted gross revenues, with 50 percent of tax revenue going to a fund to help local governments and nonprofits attract entertainment events. The remainder of the tax revenue would go to the state’s general fund.
North Carolina’s Legislative Session Will Be the Key
North Carolina’s legislative session will begin on May 18th and end on June 30th. Rep. Jason Saine believes that sports betting will be a topic of discussion in the first few weeks of the session. The bill will most likely have to make it through two House committees, which include Finance and Rules, before making it to the floor to be voted on.
The bill, which was introduced in April 2021, originally set January 1st, 2022, as the date when sports wagering could begin. However, like many other new ventures, things take time. A new launch date could be set when the legislative session takes place.
Saine is confident that sports betting will be approved during the session. He added;
“I’m ready to go with it…As soon as we can get it on schedule, we’ll roll with it. Good conversations all around with my colleagues, even those who are opposed. There are honest differences, and that’s OK. … I’m ready to get this one behind us and move on to something else.”
The Mission to Bring Sports Betting to South Carolina is Running Out of Time
Just to the south of North Carolina, sports betting in South Carolina has already been pushed for sports betting. However, the state is already running out of time as the legislative session is set to end on Thursday.
Before going through similar steps in the Senate, the bill must be approved in the committee and on the House floor. If sports betting is legalized, South Carolina would only be the fifth state in the SEC to be a part of the industry. Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are the only four other states that offer some form of sports betting.