North Carolina lawmakers in the House voted Wednesday to approve a new sports betting bill that will expand the market throughout the Tar Heel State.
The 69-44 vote approved changes made by the Senate to HB 347, which allows online betting on professional and amateur sports, including college athletics, as well as horse racing. Up to 12 licensees can pay $1m annually to offer their services for a five-year period. All revenues will be taxed at 18%.
expands operators’ jurisdictions to the online and mobile realms
Sports betting was already legal in North Carolina in a couple of select retail locations. The new bill expands operators’ jurisdictions to the online and mobile realms.
The bill still needs to be approved by Governor Roy Cooper before it becomes an official law. Assuming his approval, the online sports betting market may launch as early as January 8, but state 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.
Estimates suggest North Carolina will increase its tax revenues by $100m by the fifth year of online sports betting operations. Critics believe that the swollen kitty isn’t enough to outweigh the addictive habits and problems that a larger gambling market will create.