A bill to legalize commercial online sports betting in North Carolina has cleared another committee in the state’s House of Representatives.
House Bill 631, which cleared the upper chamber of the North Carolina as Senate Bill 688, passed the House Commerce Committee in a 12-4 vote yesterday (November 4).
While it has passed its first reading in the lower chamber, it must still clear the House Judiciary and Finance Committees, as well as the Committee of Rules, Calendar, and Operations. The current legislative session will adjourn on November 19, with a short session to convene early in 2022.
The bill aims to issue at least 10, and no more than 12, interactive sports wagering licenses, which will be valid for five years. Each will require the holder to pay a $500,000 fee, then an 8% gross revenue tax to the state.
Suppliers will also be required to secure licenses, which also last for five years, for a $15,000 fee.
Betting would be available through smartphones and online, as well as in dedicated facilities within sports stadia.
Should it pass, the bill would significantly expand the state’s sports wagering market. Legal, in-person betting is currently available through Senate Bill 154, which legalized wagering on tribal lands.
While SB154 passed into law in April 2019, it was not until March this year that the first bets were taken, at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ Harrah’s Casinos in Cherokee and Murphy. The sportsbook at each venue is powered by Caesars Entertainment, the new owner of the tribe’s original partner William Hill.