North Carolina Confident for Change

May 27, 2022 Pen highlighting text in a book

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been able to bring news of potential changes coming to California, Maine, Ohio, and even Ontario in Canada too as states continue to push iGaming changes across North America, and the next likely hopeful appears to be North Carolina as confidence is growing that at least sports betting could be on the way and liberalized off tribal lands.

Much like many of the other states across the US, casino games and sports betting are currently limited to tribal casinos with sports betting having been added to that compact back in 2019 – not only have tribal casino rights been something difficult to deal with in other states too, but as North Carolina is also one of the states in the bible belt, it has been part of a group of states that have been slower to embrace the changes from the US Supreme Court ruling than the other 30 states which have currently legalized some form of iGaming.

Despite having a shortened assembly to decide this year, state officials believe there is more than enough support to move forward with a gaming effort which at first will look to be limited to online sportsbooks with hopes that up to 12 operators will be able to register – the bill that passed in 2021 before stalling proposed a $500,000 upfront licensing fee for any would-be operators on mobile, with annual renewal costs set to $100,000 too and an 8% tax on gross revenue from sports betting.

Somewhat of interest too, it doesn’t appear that they’ll look to limit sports betting only to online platforms as there is a mention in the bill that it would also allow professional sports stadiums and arenas of a certain capacity to also offer on-site retail sports betting – this would also support other sports such as golf with any official PGA Tour also benefitting from this.

With the assembly set to meet through June 30th and last a month-and-a-half, more details will emerge in a few weeks’ time for what North Carolina residents can expect from a sports betting bill, but there is growing confidence that 2022 could be the year this bill passes – but may see small adjustments as the state senator has nodded towards a potential increase in licensing fees and/or tax rates, as well as setting aside any additional revenue to combat problem gambling, something that many other states have yet to consider contributing to.

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