The North Carolina House of Representatives approved the state’s sports betting bill on Thursday, which means sports betting is just a signature from Governor Roy Cooper away from being legalized in the state. Cooper is expected to sign it.
The Senate passed the bill last week with a few amendments to the House’s original bill. Notable amendments include an increase in tax rate, horse race betting, and betting at various sports facilities in the state. The bill was then concurred in the House on Tuesday by an initial vote of 68-42 and then finalized on Thursday 68-45.
Recap of North Carolina Sports Betting Bill
HB 347 will bring 12 online sportsbook operators to the state as well as horse racing options and in-person betting at eight “public accommodation” locations. Operators will be taxed at 18% and be required to pay a $1 million interactive sports wagering license fee. Service provider licenses and sports wagering supplier licenses will also be available.
Application fees and tax revenue will be distributed among several different state programs as well as the state’s collegiate athletic programs – $300,000 will be allocated to each of the 13 different athletic departments outlined in the bill. With collegiate betting allowed, this appropriation gives these college’s a piece of the pie.
Per the fiscal note, sports wagering tax revenue and fees are estimated to total nearly $75 million in FY 2024-25, increasing to just over $100 million in FY 2027-28. Fee revenue from pari-mutuel horse race wagering is expected to be around $2.0 million in the first year, increasing to $4.0 million in FY 2027-28.
North Carolina Plans to Launch Sports Betting by January 8, 2024
The bill will go into effect once Cooper signs it, though there is no definitive timeline for when applications and approvals will begin. In a statement to Lineups, a representative from the North Carolina Education Lottery, which will regulate the state’s sports betting market, said:
“The lottery will work as quickly as possible to meet its responsibilities in licensing operators so that sports betting can be conducted fairly and responsibly in North Carolina.”
Per the language in the bill, the plan is to have the market up and running by January 8, 2024, so that process will likely begin soon.