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NC Lawmakers Discuss Revitalizing Legislation For Video Lottery Terminals

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on February 21, 2024
Senate Chamber During Opening Session of the North Carolina General Assembly

While North Carolina’s General Assembly prepares for its upcoming legislative session and the NC sports betting market gets ready to launch, interest in authorizing additional casinos seems to have weakened.

According to two top lawmakers in the state, the authorization of new North Carolina casinos seems unlikely, the Associated Press reported. However, efforts to approve and regulate video gambling machines in North Carolina could rise during the upcoming legislative season.

NC lawmakers’ focus turns to video lottery terminals

Last week, NC lawmakers suggested efforts to regulate video gambling machines in the spring. House Speaker Tim Moore reportedly said there’s been more discussion about revitalizing legislation this year for video lottery terminals.

That topic was the preferred component of the 2023 gambling package for many of his colleagues.

Senate leader Phil Berger, an advocate of introducing casinos that would bring jobs and revenues to rural areas, told reporters on Feb. 14 that he has no plans to push for casino legislation during the session that starts in late April.

NC lawmakers attempted to insert gambling legislation into the 2023 budget

The authorization of four North Carolina casinos and the legalization of video gambling machines were first considered last year.

The lawmakers considered a comprehensive package, which would have permitted the construction of four new casinos statewide. They tried to insert legislation into the 2023 budget.

But the suggestion hit a barrier in September when House conservatives and Democrats opposed an idea by Senate Republicans to insert the gambling language into the two-year budget with little public review.

Berger backed Moore in supporting gaming expansion in October last year. However, both withdrew their efforts to legalize four additional casinos as part of the state budget.

As the debate on legalizing North Carolina casinos continued, the public showed an interest in non-tribal casinos. According to a Meredith College poll published earlier this month, 54% of respondents voted in favor of legalization.

North Carolina online sports betting to launch as early as March 11

North Carolina currently has three casinos operated by two American Indian tribes. Two gaming venues are controlled by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and run by Caesars Entertainment, whereas the Catawba Nation operates the third one.

In November, the state lottery expanded its offering of online games. The North Carolina Lottery Commission also confirmed that the NC legalized sports betting is set to launch on Mar. 11, after Gov. Roy Cooper signed a separate legislation into law earlier this year.

Several leading US gambling companies have already submitted complete applications for operator licenses. These include:

  • Bet365
  • BetMGM
  • Catawba Two Kings
  • DraftKings
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • ESPN Bet
  • Fanatics
  • FanDuel
  • Underdog Sports

NC sportsbook apps will be ready to start accepting registrations and deposits as early as March 1. To enter the NC sports betting market, sportsbooks must partner with a professional sports group.

Seven sportsbooks have already agreed to partner with organizations like the PGA TOUR, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

DraftKings was the latest US operator to announce its presence in the Tar Heel State. The US operator teamed up with NASCAR.

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Written by
Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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