Sports Betting

North Carolina has entered the realm of legal sports betting following Governor Roy Cooper’s approval of House Bill 347 on Wednesday. The bill’s signing ushers in a new era of regulated gambling in the state, with the practice set to commence as early as January 8, 2024, or no later than mid-June of the same year.

In a momentous occasion held at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center, home to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, Governor Cooper, accompanied by lawmakers from both parties, expressed his optimism about the economic benefits that the legislation will bring. “This is a historic moment for the state of North Carolina,” Cooper stated. “This will benefit our economy for generations to come.”

Having passed through both chambers of the NC General Assembly earlier in the month, House Bill 347 entails the issuance of 12 licenses by the state Lottery Commission, enabling operators to offer online sports betting services. Furthermore, eight designated facilities will be authorized to operate sportsbooks, including Bank of America Stadium and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The governor emphasized that the legislation not only regulates sports wagering but also incorporates safeguards and provides funding for assistance programs that address problem gambling. Cooper highlighted the importance of North Carolina’s ability to regulate sports betting in the face of its prevalence in neighboring states and nationwide.

In addition to online betting via computers and mobile phones, North Carolina adults can place bets at sportsbooks located near or within professional sports venues, race tracks, and golf courses. The legislation permits wagering on professional, college, electronic, and amateur sports, although betting on youth sports remains prohibited.

House Bill 347 allows pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, albeit through separate operators.

 Implementation of this aspect of North Carolina sports betting is expected to take longer as lawmakers finalize key details, as reported by Forbes.

Under the legislation, sports betting will be subject to taxation at a rate equal to 18% of gross betting revenue minus winnings. Notably, several public universities will receive annual allocations of $300,000 from license fees and taxes collected. Additionally, the bill designates $2 million for the NC Department of Health and Human Services, $1 million for North Carolina Amateur Sports, and $1 million for the North Carolina Heritage Advisory Council.

By embracing legal sports betting, North Carolina joins the ranks of over 30 states that have embraced online sports gambling since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the nationwide ban in 2018. Projections indicate that the state could generate approximately $100 million in sports betting revenue by its fifth year of operation.

Following the bill’s signing, the Charlotte Hornets released a statement expressing their excitement: “Today is a very exciting day for sports fans across the state of North Carolina. We are honored that Governor Cooper chose to sign Today’s historic sports wagering legislation at Spectrum Center, and we thank him for his leadership regarding this issue.”

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