- The bill was first proposed by The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who own the only two casinos in the state of N.C.
- If passed, the bill would only allow sports betting to occur inside the state’s tribal casinos
- The NC sports betting bill will still need to be approved by the State House of Representatives and by the Governor.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Those looking to bet on sports in North Carolina may soon be able to do so at one of the state’s tribal casinos. Earlier this week, the North Carolina Senate passed NC SB 154, a sports betting bill that would permit gambling on professional and collegiate sports as well as horse racing.
The bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, with a final vote of 43-7. This is mainly in part due to the restrictions that would come with betting on sports in North Carolina.
If this piece of legislation does in fact become law, sports gambling would be strictly reserved to in-person bets at the state’s tribal casinos. There are no provisions that would allow for online or mobile sports wagering.
Those that are concerned with problem gambling would be happy to see that this gaming expansion would be limited, and The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who originally proposed the expansion would be able to gain new revenue for themselves and the state.
“It is expected it will enhance the revenue of the tribe about $14 million a year, and that will yield about a million to the state,” said Senator Jim Davis, who originally filed the bill and whose district includes the Cherokee reservation.
While this may not seem like much to the state, supporters say it has a great impact on the local area. The casino industry “has just transformed the community,” said Davis.
Davis was previously able to pass two pieces of gambling expansion at the request of the tribes which included table games and the construction of a second and third casino. Although, the tribe has yet to build a third casino.
Instead, the tribe is expanding their current operations. The two current casinos employ more than 4,000 North Carolina residents and have been undergoing $250 million worth of renovations since last summer, as reported by The News & Observer.
The bill will now have to be voted on by the NC House of Representatives, and if approved by that chamber, it will be up to NC Governor Roy Cooper to decide if he wants to sign or veto the bill for sports betting in North Carolina.