Senator Jim Perry of North Carolina

  • The North Carolina General Assembly adjourns for the year on July 2.
  • Senator Jim Perry, the sponsor of Senate Bill 688 that would regulate mobile sportsbooks in the state does not believe there is enough time to get his bill passed in 2021.
  • Currently, Senate Bill 688 is awaiting a hearing that has yet to be scheduled.

CHARLOTTE Sports betting in North Carolina is getting no closer to becoming a regulated market as bills sit in the North Carolina General Assembly waiting to be heard. A handful of proposals to open up commercial sports gaming in the state have been gathering dust in committees such as the Committee on Rules and Operations in the Senate.

Senate Bill 688 is sponsored by Senator Jim Perry and his bill has been waiting for a hearing in the committee since April 8.

This bill would allow North Carolina to open up 12 mobile sportsbook platforms in the state and give sporting establishments the ability to open retail sportsbooks.

Expanding Sports Betting In NC According To Sen. Perry

Regulated sports betting in North Carolina is already a market for tribal casinos in the state. Two casinos owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have sports betting facilities opened already while a third casino owned by the Catawba Nation will open a sportsbook this year.

However, North Carolina sports gaming could include commercial businesses if a bill like Senate Bill 688 were to pass. LegalSportsBetting spoke with Senator Jim Perry on Monday about the outlook in North Carolina regarding a regulated mobile sports betting market.

According to Perry, there is no set date for when a hearing on any sports wagering bill will be discussed, as all talks are happening internally, but the session adjourns on July 2.

As far as any concerns by the naysayers of the market, Perry believes there are issues to speak on, just not as big or as many as people are led to believe.

“I believe data shows that 1-3% of our population has addiction issues. Addiction can manifest in many different, and sometimes multiple ways,” said Perry. “I believe it is shortsighted, even if well intended, to believe regulation of sports betting will cause calamity for our society.”

Instead of all the cons this industry could bring to the state which are few, there is a world of benefits it could bring, especially to the farmers of North Carolina.

“I don’t think people realize how those local property taxes impact our farmers. I put out a call for recommendations of how to grow school construction funding without having to raise taxes in any way,” said Perry. “I can tell you how many suggestions I received from around our state. Zero. I represent a ton of farmers in rural areas. I am open to any ideas for legislation we can pass to help the situation, without putting it on the backs of those farmers who are already struggling.”

What’s To Come For North Carolina?

If sports betting becomes regulated before the session adjourns in 2021, millions of dollars could be seen annually by the market. This is all money that could do a lot of good for the state and its residents. Wagering on sporting events is a daily occurrence and one that Perry thinks people should admit to.

“Reasonable, educated minds must acknowledge that sports betting already exists in our state. Electronic sports betting takes place today on smartphones in NC. That reality does not change by regulating it, or not regulating it,” said Perry.

If his bill or any other bill on the table gets their time on the floor, it should happen now as there are only weeks left in the session. This may be a topic better suited for the 2022 session because much still needs to be discussed according to Perry.

“I have constituents on different sides of the issue. Some believe it is about freedom. Some feel 97% should not have the freedom because 3% of the population may encounter issues.” Said Perry.

Until then, residents and visitors will need to continue placing their North Carolina sports bets elsewhere in 2021.

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