North Carolina online sports betting is closer to becoming a reality after House Bill 347 was approved by the Senate and sent to the House for concurrence on Thursday. HB 347 allows for online betting on college sports.
In 2019, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 154 into law, allowing college sports betting at retail locations on tribal lands. Unlike states such as New York, there are no betting restrictions on college sports in North Carolina at its three tribal sportsbooks: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and Catawba Two Kings.
Betting on NC’s In-State Colleges Would Continue Under HB 437
Under North Carolina sports betting bill HB 437, bettors would be free to continue betting on in-state colleges such as the University of North Carolina, Duke, and NC State. All three schools are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference and are known more for their basketball programs. Clemson, located across the state line in South Carolina, attracts the most attention — and likely more wagering dollars in North Carolina — as the ACC’s powerhouse football program.
The inclusion of college sports betting was a point of contention in North Carolina. A proposed provision would have forced retail sportsbooks to close eight hours before college games and during the actual competition. Lawmakers pushed back, and that requirement was reversed this week. The bill allows retail sportsbooks to be placed within or near eight professional sports venues.
If the House approves the amended HB 437, Cooper is expected to sign the bill into law. Per a WRAL report, House Speaker Tim Moore said the House will agree to the changes made by the Senate. North Carolina online sports betting would launch within 12 months of the Governor’s signature.
Ten smaller colleges will benefit from state income derived from sports betting under the terms of HB 437. The athletic departments at Appalachian State, East Carolina, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Pembroke, UNC-Wilmington, Western Carolina, and Winston-Salem State will receive $300,000 annually.
In-Person Betting on College Sports at Stadiums & Arenas
Eight sports facilities in the Tar Heel State could have retail sportsbooks, along with online platforms, under the current legislation. Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte), Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, PNC Arena (Raleigh), Quail Hollow Country Club (Charlotte), Sedgefield Country Club (Greensboro), Spectrum Center (Charlotte), and WakeMed Soccer Park (Cary) comprise that list.
PNC Arena, Bank of America Stadium, and Spectrum Center all host college sporting events. The NC State Wolfpack men’s basketball team plays home games at PNC Arena. Bank of America Stadium annually hosts the ACC football championship game, Duke’s Mayo Bowl, and additional college football games featuring regional teams. Spectrum Center has hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in recent years.
In-person betting on these events will be available in the future if HB 437 receives house concurrence and the bill is signed into law by Cooper. Brick-and mortar sportsbooks can be situated on the arena or stadium property or within a 1.5-mile distance from the actual venue.