Online Sports Betting Gets North Carolina Senate Approval

  • The North Carolina State Senate approved sports betting 26-19.
  • Democrats mostly supported the proposal, while Republicans mostly opposed it.
  • Many provisions of the bill seem to be up for negotiation - the main goal is just getting it through.

RALEIGH, N.C. - The North Carolina State Senate has approved sports betting in the Tar Heel State.

The bill passed with a vote of 26-19, with most of the votes against the bill being from the Republicans in the Senate.

However, in an interesting move, the Republicans were the ones who brought it up for a vote, even though 15 of their 24 senators voted against it.

The Democrats, on the other hand, were roundly in support of it, with 17 of their 21 senators voting for the bill.

Republican Senate leader Phil Berger expressed that his view on the matter was that sports betting was going to happen one way or the other, and if the state could benefit from it, it should be regulated.

“I’ve seen what’s been going on in other states as far as sports wagering. It’s one of those things that’s there whether we take this step or not,” Berger said.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Republican Senator Jim Perry, has used this thought process to attempt to garner support for the bill, demonstrating to his fellow senators how easy it is to place bets online already.

However, Perry may be overestimating the amount of help his bill can bring. He noted that he expected it to bring in $40 to $50 million annually.

A nonpartisan analysis conducted by staff of the North Carolina state legislature placed estimates far lower - in the $8 to $24 million range.

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Taxation And Licensing

North Carolina’s bill will impose fairly minor taxes on sports betting, as far as sports betting taxes in America go.

Tax rates would be only 8%, although sportsbooks will also have to pay fees in order to operate.

The current plan consists of 10 to 12 licenses, which means that there could be a fairly large amount of sports betting alternatives in North Carolina should the bill pass.

Money is currently set to be sent to the general fund of the state and to a promotional fund that would be set up later, as well as to gambling treatment and education services.

All of these variables seem up for debate. The final bill could change where the money goes, how much providers are taxed, and how many licenses there are.

Still, a bill got through the State Senate, which removes one obstacle. Now, it moves to the House.

Whether the bill will have to change in order to get through the House, or whether it will simply die there remains in question.