North Carolina Sports Betting: Legislation Passes Final House Vote, Heads To Favorable Senate Setting

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nc sports b ill passes final house vote (1)

The North Carolina House of Representatives advanced legislation to legalize online sports betting to the state Senate. 

After moving swiftly through various chambers over the past week, House Bill 347 passed the final House vote, 64-45, on its third reading Wednesday. 

House lawmakers proposed 17 amendments to the bill and all were voted down.

It’s the Senate’s turn now. 

Jason Saine: N.C. Could Generate $80M in Tax Revenue

Industry insiders remain optimistic considering a majority of state Senators voted in favor of legalized sports betting last year and Gov. Roy Cooper earmarked $85 million in revenue in his state budget. 

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle and debate spoke long and passionately about the pros and cons of allowing HB 347 to advance so quickly. 

The legislation blazed through four House committees in short order.  

During one speech Wednesday, Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln), the bill’s main sponsor, pointed to the tax revenue New Jersey and Tennessee generated after passing similar bills. With the proposed 14 percent tax revenue, Saine said North Carolina could pull in up to $80 million annually.

“The overwhelming majority of people view sports betting as a form of entertainment that consenting adults should have the right to do,” Saine said, as reported by WRAL News.

Online Sports Betting Could Go Live In January

Saine pointed to the bill’s benefits. HB 347 would help generate funds for youth sports leagues and facilities, colleges and universities and provide grants for gambling addiction.

While amendments are expected to occur when it reaches the Senate, some lawmakers wanted to make changes before advancing the bill.

Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Greensboro) made her final pleas against the legislation. She introduced a host of changes Wednesday. Excluding credit card payments and stricter rules for advertising were among her proposals.

They were shot down.

“The gambling industry knows they got North Carolina now,” Rep. Abe Jones (D-Wilson) said, as reported by Fox 8. “The word is out. So no amendments. Nothing. Not a single one yesterday. Not a single one today. Wouldn’t take a thing out of the state’s pocket. The gambling industry wants to make as much as it can.

“So no votes. Not do a single thing to make it better for the consumer, safer for the consumer. Because we gotcha.”

If passed by the Senate, as expected, and signed into law by Cooper, online betting for professional and college sports could go into effect by January.