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North Carolina Senate Pushing Sports Betting

Legal sports betting is already available in the state of North Carolina, but all of that betting is done in retail form. That could soon change as lawmakers in the state are hoping to pass a bill to allow for online wagering.

House Bill 347 started to gain attention in the state back in March as the House of Representatives voted to push it through. That bill has since sat without action in the Senate, but the Senate Committee on Commerce and Insurance just pushed the bill forward.

There is still a long journey for this bill as it will now head to the Senate Finance Committee. Some amendments have already been made to the original piece of legislation, and more should be coming as it continues to progress.

Senators have already expressed an interest to include horse race betting in any piece of legislation, and this new version does include parimutuel wagering. Since there have been some changes made to the bill, it would have to pass another full vote in the House.

Retail sports betting is currently available through Native American tribes in the state, but there hasn’t been a ton of success. Most states continue to see most of the wagers placed online, and North Carolina is hoping to follow the lead of other markets.

Senate Seeking Some Changes

While it does appear that there is plenty of support for sports betting in the Senate, the committees are also hoping to make some changes to the bill. Not only would the Senate like to include horse race betting, but the proposed tax rate has been bumped up from 14% to 18%.

Another major change is in regards to how operators would report revenue, and it’s a change that many other states are starting to implement. The new amendment doesn’t allow for operators to deduct promotional spending from the total sports betting revenue that is reported.

The original number of potential sports betting operators was set at 12, and that number has not yet been changed by any of the Senate committees. Governor Roy Cooper is in support of legal wagering, and he is just waiting for a bill to land on his desk to sign it.

More Gaming Options Discussed

While sports betting is getting the most attention from lawmakers and residents of the state, there is another form of gaming that is on the table. North Carolina lawmakers are looking for any new way to bring in revenue, and video gaming terminals could be a ticket.

House Bill 512 was filed all the way back at the end of March, but not much has been done with it since. It has been discussed at one committee in the House, but an official vote wasn’t taken on the matter.

This bill would legalize video gaming terminals and allow the state to regulate the implementation and use of these machines. According to the legislation, the state could expect to see close to $1 billion in annual revenue if this bill were to pass.

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