North Carolina Sports Betting: House Lawmakers Feel Momentum Building For HB 347 With Another Committee Vote Approaching Tuesday

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North Carolina’s sports betting legislation is on a fast break.

House Bill 347 was approved by its third committee last week and moves on to the Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House committee on Tuesday.

Will it be a slam dunk?

N.C. Rep. Jason Saine Coaching Up HB 347 To Senate

Included in the action last week, the main sponsor, Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), coached the mobile betting bill to back-to-back wins. It cruised through the Commerce Committee by a vote of 17-10 Tuesday and the Finance Committee, 7-3, Wednesday.

After similar legislation passed the State Senate, but failed by one vote to squeeze through House last year, industry insiders like the odds of eventual passage.

Saine has compiled 56 bipartisan sponsors and N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper reportedly favors the bill and designated sports wagering to be part of his 2023 state budget.

Next week could be big. If Tuesday’s vote passes, as expected, a full House vote could be staged Wednesday, which could send the legislation to the senate for its hearings..

HB 347 Overcomes Judiciary 1 Committee Concerns

Despite HB 347’s obvious state-wide momentum, Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) attempted to put up five hurdles during the Judiciary 1 Committee. 

Of the five bill amendments Harrison introduced, Saine agreed to remove “parimutuel horse and greyhound racing” from the legislation, but rejected other potential measures, including: 

  • Creating a three-strike policy for violators. 
  • Making it illegal for online sportsbooks to advertise at state universities. 
  • Deleting sports betting on college athletics and the Olympics.

 The issue of college wagering has been debated several times by lawmakers. 

Will it slow down the bill’s momentum?

While it may not be a slam dunk, industry insiders predict the lawmakers will score off the fast break. 

NFL Betting Guides 2023 

Jeff Hawkins is an award-winning sportswriter with more than four decades in the industry (print and digital media). A freelance writer/stay-at-home dad since 2008, Hawkins started his career with newspaper stints in Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, Upstate New York and Illinois, where he earned the 2004 APSE first-place award for column writing (under 40,000 circulation). As a beat writer, he covered NASCAR Winston Cup events at NHIS (1999-2003), the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks (2003-06) and the NFL's Carolina Panthers (2011-12). Hawkins penned four youth sports books, including a Michael Jordan biography. Hawkins' main hobbies include mountain bike riding, 5k trail runs at the Whitewater Center in Charlotte, N.C., and live music.

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