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North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Expected To Get Final Passage Wednesday

Written By Matthew Kredell on June 6, 2023
NC Sports Betting Bill

North Carolina sports betting legislation is ready to cross the legislative finish line Wednesday. The bill took its last preparatory step Tuesday when the House voted to concur on second reading.

Rep. Jason Saine, the House sponsor, moved to concur with the Senate changes to North Carolina sports betting legislation.

“There were a few changes, many that we talked about here in the chambers before it went over to the Senate,” Saine said.

The House agreed with Saine’s motion to concur on second reading by a 67-42 vote. That’s better than the 64-45 vote by which the House passed the bill in March.

Saine told PlayUSA that he expects concurrence on third reading and final passage for NC sports betting on Wednesday.

No drama on House concurrence vote

Saine told PlayUSA last week after Senate passage that the House would concur with the Senate changes.

But House Speaker Tim Moore then told a reporter for local TV station WRAL that he did not favor concurrence. He wanted to take the issue to a conference committee to discuss including two other gaming issues — authorization of video lottery terminals and commercial casinos.

After discussion with Saine, Moore quickly backtracked and said the legislature will deal with the other gaming issues separately.

The vote on second reading assures that concurrence will be the path.

Opponent asks to speak on NC sports betting bill

There was no debate of the bill on second reading. Rep. Pricey Harrison asked if legislators will have the opportunity to debate the bill Wednesday.

“There are new provisions in the bill that was sent over to us,” Harrison said. “Are we going to have a chance to debate this bill, perhaps tomorrow?”

Moore suggested she take that up with Saine.

“That will be up to the maker,” Moore said. “If the bill sponsor wishes to make a motion, it may be taken up. I did understand today was going to be a very short debate given the way we had moved the calendar around.”

Harrison was one of the leaders in arguing against North Carolina sports betting authorization on the House floor last year. Her arguments were pervasive enough to change some minds and defeat the bill by one vote. Saine brought the legislation to the floor thinking he had the votes to pass.

Harrison proposed several failed amendments to the bill in March, and Saine shut her down on the House floor when she tried to query him on the bill.

Senate changes to NC sports betting bill

The North Carolina Senate passed an amended NC sports betting bill by a vote of 37-11 last week.

Here are the Senate changes to HB 347 agreed upon by the House:

  • Added licensing for parimutuel wagering.
  • Removed the minimum of 10 online sports betting operator licenses.
  • Clarified that sports facilities can have full sportsbooks rather than just sports betting lounges.
  • Provided added time for the North Carolina Lottery Commission to prepare the NC sports betting market for launch. Launch still won’t happen before Jan. 8, but regulators have up to one year from when the bill is signed into law.
  • Increased the tax rate from 14% to 18%.
  • Removed deductions of promotional credits.
Photo by PlayUSA
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Matthew Kredell

Matthew Kredell serves as senior lead writer of legislative affairs involving online gambling at PlayUSA. He began covering efforts to legalize and regulate online gambling in 2007 after federal passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act disrupted his hobby of playing small-stakes online poker. He has since interviewed more than 300 lawmakers around the country and written extensively about online gambling legislation. He has led coverage of bills to legalize online gambling in most states. A lifelong Angeleno and USC journalism alum, Matthew started his career working as a sportswriter for a decade at the Los Angeles Daily News. He has written on a variety of topics for Playboy Magazine, Men’s Journal, Los Angeles magazine, LA Weekly and ESPN.com.

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