North Carolina Sports Betting Nears Final Vote on Road To Passage

A North Carolina sports betting bill is just one vote away from final passage after the House agreed Tuesday with Senate changes made to the bill last week.

That vote is expected to come in the House on Wednesday when House Bill 347 is likely to go before the House for a required third reading and final passage. The House voted 67-42 today to concur with Senate changes to the bill on a second reading.

Gov. Roy Cooper would be the next stop for the bill should it receive final passage in the House on Tuesday. He has indicated that he will legally sign the bill, clearing the way for NC sports betting apps and even horse race betting in the Tar Heel State.

The bill calls for sports betting to launch within 12 months of Gov. Cooper’s signature.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to sign state's sports betting bill into law.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to sign the state’s sports betting bill into law. (AP Photo/Ben McKeown, File)

Sponsored by Rep. Jason Saine, R-Lincolnton, HB 347 would allow as many as 12 sportsbooks to operate under the bill. As many as eight sports betting licenses tied to pro sports facilities would also be authorized by the legislation. Those eight licenses would include mobile and retail sports betting, and up to four stand-alone mobile operators would also be licensed.

The eight facilities eligible for sports betting licenses are 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).

The legislation cleared the Senate by a vote of 37-11 on June 1, after the Senate added language that would also authorize horse racing and horse race betting in the state, now illegal outside of tribal lands.

HB 347 Succeeding Where Other Bills Have Failed

HB 347 is not the first attempt to legalize commercial sports betting in the Tar Heel State, but it is on track to be the first successful attempt. A Senate attempt to pass commercial online and retail sports betting failed in the House last year.

Saine told WRAL-TV last week that he anticipates final passage in the House this week.

“The Senate has had a thoughtful process and have been good partners in seeing this legislation through,” Rep. Saine said. “I think their good-faith efforts are greatly appreciated by sponsors and supporters of the bill in the House.”

Right now, retail sports betting at three tribal casinos is legal in North Carolina – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resorts and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in the western part of the state and Catawba Two Kings in Kings Mountain, which opened a sportsbook in the fall of 2022.

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About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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