North Carolina is set to expand its sports betting market into the online realm after Wednesday’s approval vote in the House of Representatives. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
North Carolina lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve a new sports betting bill that would expand the market throughout the Tar Heel state.
A 69-44 vote approved changes by the Senate to HB 347, which allow online betting on professional and amateur sports, including college athletics, as well as horse racing. Up to 12 licensees can pay $1 million annually to provide their services for five years. All income will be taxed at 18%.
Expands operators’ powers to the Internet and mobile domains
Sports betting was already legal in North Carolina at a couple of select retail locations. The new bill extends operators’ powers to the areas of the Internet and mobile phones.
The bill still needs Gov. Roy Cooper’s approval before it can become an official law. Assuming he approves, the online sports betting market could launch as early as January 8, but government regulators have up to a full year to prepare.
“We’re going to work as fast as we can to get it up and running,” said Van Denton, communications director for the North Carolina Education Lottery Commission.
It is estimated that North Carolina will increase its tax revenue by $100 million by the fifth year of online sports betting operations. Critics believe that a swollen cat is not enough to overcome the addictive habits and problems that the larger gambling market will create.