North Carolina Legislature

  • Senate Bill 688 that was filed in North Carolina on Wednesday could regulate mobile sportsbooks in the state.
  • It is estimated that $50 million in annual revenue could be made with mobile sports betting in North Carolina.
  • Currently, the regulated sports wagering industry of the Tar Heel State allows for two tribal retail sportsbooks.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – North Carolina will be introduced to a mobile sports wagering bill as one was filed on Wednesday to regulate that aspect of the industry for the state.

Currently, the North Carolina sports betting market has tribal retail sports betting at two separate establishments, making the sports gaming market minimal in its offerings for sports bettors statewide. No mobile platforms have ever been introduced to the market because the present law allows for only the two land-based venues to be operational for its sports betting industry.

Senate Bill 688  hopes to expand upon the market with the inclusion of mobile sports betting.

This proposal calls for anywhere from ten to a maximum of twelve operators to become licensed for online and mobile sportsbooks. The retail casinos would also receive licenses for this type of gambling on sports should the tribes want to enter into this sector of the industry.

What Senate Bill 688 Is All About

Senator Jim Perry, a main sponsor for NC SB 688, believes in this measure for the financial help it could bring to the economy. The Coronavirus Pandemic really hurt what little funds the economy of the Tar Heel State had available.

“I’m in a poor area,” said Perry on Wednesday.  “I have two Tier 1 counties and while I’m thankful for the money available through the lottery — they’ll let you forgo five years of your lottery funds to get some advance money, so to speak, to help with your schools — but that’s still not enough.”

Mobile sportsbooks in North Carolina through Perry’s bill would give sports bettors in the state the ability to gamble on professional, collegiate, amateur, esports, and anything else that is greenlit by the NC Education Lottery who would regulate the market.

There will be an 8% tax rate on all gross gaming revenue (GGR) made through the use of these platforms, where 4% would be put toward education in the state while the other 4% is earmarked for employment and economic development initiatives.

It is estimated that $50 million in annual revenue could be made through a mobile sports betting industry in North Carolina. The lottery itself brings in $25 million a year in revenue which means mobile sportsbooks would see double the amount of revenue for the people of NC to benefit.

Fees associated with the expansion are detailed within the proposal. There will be a $500,00 initial application fee. License renewals for operators that plan to offer live in-game betting are set at $100,000 every year with an extra $10,000 for a regular license renewal fee.

What’s Next?

With neighboring states like Virginia and Tennessee live with mobile sportsbooks, this is the next step for North Carolina and their sports gaming landscape.

Should Senate Bill 688 receive passage, it could be enacted into law as early as October 1. This could potentially give sports bettors in NC a chance to use mobile platforms affiliated with the state to gamble on the 2021 NFL season.

The North Carolina State Legislature adjourns for the 2021 session in July. There is no date on the calendar for when NC SB 688 will be heard on the floor, as it was only just filed on Wednesday.

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