The North Carolina Senate Bill that will legalise sports betting on phones and at various venues is currently stuck in the House and may not now see action until next year’s session. Senate Bill 688 passed the Senate by a 26/21 vote on August 19th and referred to the House Committee on Commerce on September 15th. House Commerce Chairman John Sauls R-Lee expects the committee to hear the Bill but does not have anything scheduled. Jordan Roberts, Government Affairs Associate for the John Locke Foundation, says that a Bill receiving a committee designation is a good sign for its supporters.
“The fact that it was assigned a committee path, in my opinion, means there is at least some interest from House leadership,” he said. “Whether it actually moves forward is another question.”
The General Assembly would normally have adjourned by June 30th, but legislators are still meeting primarily to establish a state budget and work on redistricting.
Senate Bill 688 would permit up to a dozen sports betting licenses, with venues that host professional sports given priority. Under the legislation, licensees could set up betting kiosks on-site and also allow mobile sports betting. The Bill would allow venues to partner with established sports betting operators to facilitate betting. It has been estimated that the State could reap up to $24m in annual tax revenue from sports betting. The Bill sets an 8% tax rate, with half of the revenue going into a fund created by the legislation to promote tourism and events in the State and half going into the general fund.