North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper scheduled a news conference to sign sports betting legislation into law Wednesday at Spectrum Center in Charlotte.
Cooper sent an invitation to key lawmakers to attend the press conference from 11 a.m. to noon.
Rep. Jason Saine, the primary bill sponsor, told PlayUSA he would attend the news conference at Cooper’s invitation.
Sen. Jim Perry, who first sponsored sports betting legislation in North Carolina in 2021, told PlayUSA he will not attend the news conference because he is working on a tax package but that the governor did invite him.
The North Carolina governor is a Democrat while Republicans control the North Carolina legislature. But Cooper still wants to highlight the passage of sports betting, which he has long supported.
North Carolina sports betting legislation authorizes up to 14 online sports betting apps. It also includes parimutuel horse betting.
The bill was a bipartisan effort that passed the House 64-45 in March and the Senate 37-11 earlier this month. The House concurred with Senate changes last week by a 68-45 vote.
Spectrum Arena in line for sportsbook
The Spectrum Center is home to the Charlotte Hornets. Under HB 347, it’s one of eight North Carolina sports facilities that can partner with an operator to host a sportsbook.
The other sports venues that could have a sportsbook include:
- Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC)
- PNC Arena (Carolina Hurricanes)
- Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR)
- North Wilkesboro Speedway (NASCAR)
- Quail Hollow Club (PGA Tour)
- Sedgefield Country Club (PGA Tour)
- Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park (North Carolina FC and North Carolina Courage)
North Carolina sports betting launch in 2024
North Carolina sports betting could start as soon as Jan. 8. But lawmakers gave the North Carolina Lottery Commission up to one year to have the market ready for launch.
With Cooper signing the bill into law Wednesday, the commission will have until June 13, 2024, to produce regulations and issue licenses.
But the commission likely will shoot for earlier in the year to have betting for the Super Bowl and March Madness.