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Bill to establish NC gaming commission passes House


A bill to establish the North Carolina Gaming Commission, which would be tasked with conducting a feasibility study on a potential roll-out of sports betting has been approved by the state’s House of Representatives. 

Senate Bill 574, which was passed by the North Carolina Senate in May, has now been passed by the House, following its third reading in the chamber. 

It establishes the North Carolina Gaming Commission, which will be handed responsibility for regulating gambling in the state. It will operate under the Department of Commerce for budgetary purposes, but will be an independent, self-supporting and revenue-raising agency.

It will consist of nine members, five of whom will be appointed by the state’s governor, two by the Senate President and two by the Speaker of the House. 

The Governor will then be responsible for selecting a chair from the nine appointees. Members will serve for terms ranging from one to four years, with at least one to have law enforcement experience, another experience working for a retail lottery business, and one a certified public accountant. Another must have experience in treating gambling addiction, with another to serve as a player rights advocate. 

The Commission will take responsibility for regulating forms of gambling approved by the North Carolina legislature, as well as ensuring that all advertising is socially responsible. 

Among the Commission’s responsibilities will be a feasibility study into regulating sports betting in the state. This will see it required to examine any restrictions that should be placed on such activities, and its potential impact on tribal gaming in North Carolina. 

It would also be tasked with investigating the positive and negative impact of sports betting regulation, including whether any additional resources would be required to assist problem gamblers. The Commission would also be asked to come up with estimates for the potential returns for the state from legal wagering. 

While the bill has been passed by both the House and Senate, it now moves to a conference committee, due to two amendments made by the lower chamber. These relate to investigatory and enforcement powers granted to the Gaming Commission and North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission. Provided the two chambers compromise on these amendments, the bill will then pass to Governor Roy Cooper to be signed into law.

While progress has been made on SB574, a House vote on SB154, a bill to regulate sports betting at Class III tribal gaming venues, has been pushed back to Monday (July 15). The bill was originally set to go before the House yesterday (July 11). The bill would allow tribes to roll out land-based wagering, upon negotiating a new gaming compact with the state.