North Carolina Sports Betting Legislation Falls Flat in House Vote

  • Many lawmakers spoke out about the potential dangers of gambling expansion
  • Only one of two bills passed, with both needing approval to legalize sports betting
  • It looks unlikely now that sports betting in North Carolina will become legal in 2022
  • NC is the ninth-largest US state, which would make it a significant betting market
North Carolina flag
A bill aiming to legalize sports betting in North Carolina has fallen flat after losing a vote in the House. [Image:]

Not enough support

A bill to legalize sports betting in North Carolina has stalled. The House voted 51-50 against Senate Bill 688 on Wednesday.

lawmakers voiced their concerns regarding the potential dangers

A number of lawmakers voiced their concerns regarding the potential dangers of gambling expansion. They believe that legal sports betting would lead to a sharp rise in gambling addicts, which in turn could lead to increased debt levels, embezzlement, and theft.

Earlier on Wednesday, a supplemental bill mainly focused on the taxation of sports betting revenue passed narrowly in the House after a 51-50 vote. Both of the bills, which were progressing in tandem, needed to pass for betting to get the go-ahead. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has previously confirmed he would sign sports betting legislation if it reached his desk.

Legalization unlikely in 2022

As reported by AP News, the failure of Senate Bill 688 means North Carolina will likely miss out on legal sports betting this year. Representative Jason Saine said that the NC betting dream “isn’t totally dead” in the current legislative session, but the June 30 session end date is fast approaching.

With numerous nearby states embracing sports betting, lawmakers in North Carolina will likely try to pass legislation again next year if no process is made in the coming days. Neighboring states of Tennessee and Virginia have offered legal sportsbooks for some time.

Currently, 28 states have some type of in-person betting on offer, in addition to Washington DC.

Almost one-fifth of the 120 members of the House did not partake in the sports betting-related votes on Wednesday.

What could have been

Proponents of NC betting affirm that state residents already place sports bets through the black market. Therefore, they claim the state should legalize the activity to reap the benefits. North Carolina is the US’s ninth-largest state, meaning it would form a significant betting market.

Senate Bill 688 sought the issuance of up to a dozen online sports betting licenses. It would have allowed betting on professional sports events, as well as horse racing taking place out-of-state. The launch date was penciled in for January.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians launched retail sports betting in March 2021 at its two North Carolina casinos as a result of an updated tribal gaming compact.

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