North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper Officially Legalizes Sports Betting, Set Up For An Early 2024 Launch
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper officially signed the state’s sports betting bill — HB 347 — into law on Wednesday, June 14th. It comes six days after the House voted 69-44 to approve the amended version of the sports wagering bill.
As Cooper stated at the signing:
“This is a historic moment for the state of North Carolina. This will benefit our economy for generations to come.”
Sportsbooks Could Be Available At Panthers’ Stadium
HB 347 allows for 12 online sportsbook and eight retail sportsbook licenses to be issued in the state. The eight retail licenses are reserved for “places of public accommodation” throughout the state. These facilities include: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, PNC Arena, Quail Hollow Country Club, Sedgefield Country Club, Spectrum Center and WakeMed Soccer Park.
In addition to online and retail sports betting, the bill also legalizes pari-mutuel horse wagering and betting on college sports.
Over $20 Million in Tax Revenue Expected in Year 1
The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission will regulate, license, and tax all operators at a set 18% tax rate. Additionally, the state will also issue fees for each license applicant. There are three types of licenses that will be available: an interactive sports wagering license ($1 million), a service provider license ($50,000), and a sports wagering supplier license ($30,000).
Between the tax revenue and the license fee revenue, the state is expected to generate around $22.1 million in revenue in its first fiscal year, according to the fiscal note.
State Colleges To Be Big Beneficiary of Tax Revenue
$1 million will go to North Carolina Amateur Sports (NCAS), $2 million to the Department of Human Health and Human Services for problem gambling programs, and $1 million is for the North Carolina Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission.
Additionally, $300,000 will be distributed to the athletic departments at each of the following universities:
- Appalachian State University
- East Carolina University
- Elizabeth City State University
- Fayetteville State University
- North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
- North Carolina Central University
- University of North Carolina at Asheville
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- University of North Carolina at Greensboro
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- University of North Carolina at Wilmington
- Western Carolina University
- Winston-Salem State University
The remaining revenue will be divided among the colleges listed above (20%), the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund (30%), and the General Fund (50%).
East Coast Sports Betting Market Almost Complete
Effective today, the North Carolina Education Lottery Commission has 12 months to launch a sports betting market in the state. It has indicated throughout the legislative process that January 8, 2024 is their launch date goal.
Once the market is up and running, the east coast will have a significant stretch of land not impacted by sports wagering prohibitions. People will be able to drive through every state from North Carolina to Maine and have legal betting options in every state.
Most of those states surrounding North Carolina have been benefiting from residents crossing the border and placing sports bets there. When they weren’t doing that, they were placing illegal bets in the state, both of which were a big reason for passing this bill.
“Sports wagering is already happening in our state,” Cooper said at the signing. “Surrounding states here and across the country are already taking advantage.”