A new bill will be filed in North Carolina with the aim to launch statewide mobile sportsbooks. NC. lawmakers attempted to bring mobile betting to its residents in 2022, but ultimately that measure failed by one vote. This new bill will allegedly be similar to last year’s bill and has support from Governor Roy Cooper.
North Carolina Online Sportsbooks Could Become A Reality
Bill sponsor Rep. Jason Saine was one of the Representatives that were pushing for mobile betting in North Carolina in 2022. Saine believes that this time around, there is more positive sentiment surrounding the local mobile market. Retail sports betting is already available in North Carolina at tribal casinos. This measure is an expansion of the current betting market.
“This will be something that’s legitimate in the state, something that we can see,” said Saine. “We can put some transparency on it and see where the money moves. I think that’s best for everybody.”
The reason for optimism surrounding this year’s measure is due to a changing of the guard in the General Assembly. Following last year’s election, the new Representatives are apparently more in support of an expanded betting market in the Tar Heel State.
Online sportsbooks in North Carolina are estimated to rake in up to $24 million in annual revenue according to analysis. Other estimations have the annual revenue topping $50 million. North Carolina is a heavy sports state with popular professional and collegiate teams that would bring out the bettors all year.
In particular, the conversation about college betting became a point of contention during last year’s push. While ultimately college betting was removed from the final bill, it will be included in the 2023 measure.
“Because if you did take out college sports betting, it really at that point it becomes almost useless to pass it because you’re still sending all the revenue to some other state,” continued Saine. So, it’s really a boneheaded approach to do it that way.”
Proponents And Opposition To The Bill
One of the biggest supporters of mobile sportsbooks in North Carolina includes Gov. Cooper. Cooper has already stated he would sign sports betting legislation should it pass in the chambers. He is also confident that the measure will pass this time around.
“I think it’s gonna pass from what I hear. We’re working with trying to get good legislation that’s fair to the taxpayers but also recognizes something that’s going on anyway,” said Cooper. “We might as well get a benefit for our schools and our state out of it.”
Residents also seem to be in favor of a legalized mobile market. A recent poll released by Meredith College showed that 47% of likely voters support mobile betting in North Carolina. 34% are opposed while 19% stated they don’t know.
Despite the optimism for new legislation, there are still those in office that are against expanded betting. House Rep. Pricey Harrison voted against the 2022 measure. She has been vocal about her opposition to mobile betting in N.C. Instead, she advocates for retail betting expansion to local stadiums.
“It is an interesting mix of super-progressives and super-conservatives who are concerned about the impacts this might have on our state. And, I think that coalition is still there and it’s still strong,” she said in a recent interview. “I don’t want us to get all glazy-eyed thinking this is going to be a great revenue source for our state because it won’t.”
Even with those being against the betting push in the Tar Heel State, North Carolina residents should still be cautiously optimistic that their betting market will expand soon.