North Carolina Racing To Legalize Sports Betting

  • North Carolina is setting up to pass NC SB 154.
  • Bill passed the Senate in a 42-7 vote.
  • No mobile sports betting as tribes want to keep betting in their casinos.

RALEIGH, N.C. – A sports betting bill in North Carolina has passed through the Senate with a 42-7 vote on Tuesday and is heading to the State House for consideration.

The bill is NC SB 154 and it will legalize sports betting by allowing the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer sports betting.

How The Cherokee Tribe Can Offer Sports Betting

North Carolina is rather strict when it comes to gambling. There are no state-licensed casinos in the state and the state lottery was only established in 2005. But the Cherokee Tribes are able to offer Class III games in their casinos.

Sports betting is considered to be Class III gaming. NC SB 154 adds sports betting to the list of games that the Cherokee Tribe can offer in their casinos. This was specifically requested by the tribe and Senator Jim Davis was happy to comply and create this bill for that purpose. This is similar to how New Mexico legalized sports betting.

Adding sports betting is expected to have economic benefits for both the tribe and the state. The Cherokee Tribe is expected to earn $14 million for sports betting which will then turn into $1 million for the state of North Carolina.

No Mobile Betting Anytime Soon

One thing to note about this bill is that there is no language in the bill that calls for internet or mobile sports betting. Almost all states across the country who are considering sports betting legislation has some language that involves mobile sports betting, but North Carolina does not. This was also requested by the Cherokee Tribe.

“The Eastern Band came to me with this proposal, and that’s what they wanted. They’re not interested in expanding it at this time, and probably have no interest in expanding in the future” said Davis.

Stall In The House?

Senator Davis initially made this proposal and said that it would pass in the Senate in a month. He was almost correct and the legislation quickly moved forward and is heading to the House. Davis said that getting through the House may prove a bit more difficult.

This isn’t the only sports betting legislation being considered. The House is also considering NC HB 302 to legalize sports betting. The main thing to note is that NC HB 302 has stalled in the House and has not moved in over a month. Davis is hoping that his bill can keep the momentum going and pass through the House.

At the current speed, this bill is going at, North Carolina could be one of the first states to legalize sports betting in 2019. Once it goes through the House, the bill will go to Governor Roy Cooper for his signature. The current legislative session ends at the end of June so there is a fair amount of time to get sports betting in North Carolina legalized.

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