North Carolina may have legalized sports betting back in 2021 but it is still limited to retail only. That is until an effort to bring online and mobile sports betting began to gain track. But it also gained fallbacks as it saw disapproval at many government levels of the state.
Mobile sports betting legalization bill already moved in the Senate and the House. The SB688 bill was already approved in the North Carolina Senate in August 2021 and the House Commerce Committee in November 2021. Now the bill seeks many other approvals before actually launching.
For the bill to pass, a vote is needed but it was constrained to happen until June 30. But no such action is held yet. North Carolina’s House rejected the bill on its second reading on June 22 by a 51-50 margin. An amendment will need to occur by June 30 but if done too quickly it might ban all types of sportsbooks altogether.
North Carolina has many college sports available to wager by sports fans in the state. The popularity and revenue will plunge if sports betting is banned in the state. Especially on a few of the most popular in the state such as UNC, Duke, NC State, and Wake Forest.
There are currently two retail casinos in North Carolina, both operated by Native tribes in the western part of the state. The venues are not only offering casino games but also sports betting. Both are operated by the commercial sports betting companies Caesars. The casinos mentioned are Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River.
Three states surrounding North Carolina already legalized online sports betting in their respective states. Virginia’s first sportsbook opened in January 2021 which was followed by 11 other sportsbooks less than a year after the first. West Virginia’s first sportsbook opened in August 2018 and now has six online apps across the state.
To the south of NC is Tennessee with no retail sportsbook. The state only has online sports betting starting in November 2020. Nine operators are currently seeking to open in the area.
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