North Carolina Setting The Stage For Sports Betting At Tribal Casinos

  • SB 154 would permit professional and collegiate wagering at the two tribal casinos.
  • Already approved by the Senate, the bill only requires support from the House and the Governor.
  • Horse racing betting would also be allowed, per the bill’s text.

RALEIGH – The sports betting measure in North Carolina has been making major headway since April has begun.

Aside from a few favorable opinions and amendments, NC SB 154 passed through the Senate chambers by a vote of 43-7 and is already beginning the discussion in the House.

Having passed its first reading, the bill has been referred to the Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House Committee. Not slated for a date of discussion yet, the House will have plenty of time to approve the proposal, as the state’s session does not adjourn until mid-July.

According to the bill’s text, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians would be able to permit Class III wagering on their casino’s grounds.

The Class III gaming allowance would include sports betting and horse racing betting and though there have not been any regulations set, there is no reference of any collegiate wagering ban or the permission of mobile betting.

Caesars operates both of the tribal casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino, which are located in Cherokee and Murphy, respectively. However, the potential for expansion from the Catawba Indian Nation is likely, as they have established efforts for a new casino located in Kings Mountain.

Currently, the former tribe allocates 8% of their table game revenue as a tax to the state. Though this is set in their compact, negotiations will need to take place to tackle a sports wagering revenue system.

Regardless of the percentage, the new potential gaming tax would go directly into the Indian Gaming Education Revenue Fund, per the wording of the bill.

With many weeks left in the legislative session, only time will tell if the generally anti-gambling expansion state will venture down the path of legalization of sports betting in North Carolina. NC has been slower to pass gaming legislation as it was one of the last states to approve a lottery system and has even rejected daily fantasy bills.

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