North Carolina General Assembly

  • NC SB 688 has returned to the Senate floor for its final reading in North Carolina.
  • The Senate will vote on the bill on Thursday.
  • This measure could lead to mobile sports betting coming into law by January 1, 2022, for North Carolina.

RALEIGH, N.C. – North Carolina will see its mobile sports betting bill, NC SB 688, read for the final time, and then ultimately voted on in the same session on Thursday.

This bill will have sports betting in North Carolina successfully bring mobile operations to its industry if it passes in both the Senate and House by early 2021.

Lawmakers have already voted in approval of the bill 26-21 during Senate Bill 688’s second reading, but the Senate needs a two-thirds majority vote for the bill to successfully pass.

North Carolina Mobile Betting

NC SB 688 successfully passed through the Senate Finance Committee in early August after being introduced in April. The legislation has been passed through multiple committees and discussed in length and has not seen many alterations to its wording during the process.

Through Senate Bill 688, up to 12 sports betting licenses will be available with an 8% tax on handle for each sportsbook that offers mobile sports betting. This mobile sportsbook bill will also allow local teams to offer sports betting venues in their team arenas.

This would see in-house operations at the Charlotte Hornets Spectrum Center, the Carolina Panthers Bank of America Stadium, and the Carolina Hurricanes PNC Arena.

This expanded regulated sports betting bill would have North Carolina balloon into a larger sports betting industry than its current status. Currently, only minimal retail sportsbooks at casinos are available in NC.

What Are The Holdups

The reason that Senate Bill 688 has taken so long to pass this session is due to the slight disagreements between Senators on the impact that mobile sports betting would have in terms of problem gambling statewide.

One of the few amendments that have occurred since the bill was initially presented was the approval of $1 million of annual sports betting revenue going to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Another change included pushing the effective date from October 1, 2021, to January 1, 2022, which would reflect the months of no progress that this measure has endured.

Local lawmakers are expanding this bill to pass in the Senate on Thursday, August 19. Those in favor of its passage expect there to be $25 million to $50 million in annual revenue from the sports betting industry in North Carolina.

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