A bill to include sports betting in the list of Class III tribal gaming products is headed to the North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper after it was approved by the state’s House of Representatives.
Senate Bill 154, finally went to a full House vote yesterday (July 15), after a reading scheduled for July 11 was delayed. It was approved by 90 Representatives, with 27 voting against.
The bill, which was filed in February before stalling in a House committee after passing through the Senate in April, benefitted from the state’s legislative session being extended beyond July 1, to allow lawmakers to thrash out a budget deal.
While the bill will bring sports betting to the state, it restricts it to tribal operators with existing Class III facilities, which currently only includes two venues operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Should the bill be signed into law by Governor Cooper, the tribe will be required to negotiate a new gaming compact with the state to determine North Carolina’s share of revenue from the launch.
While SB154 only covers a limited roll-out of legal wagering, an expanded launch may be facilitated by Senate Bill 574, which is currently sitting with a conference committee. SB574 would establish the North Carolina Gaming Commission as a new regulatory body in the state, and have it carry out a feasibility study on a wide roll-out of sports betting.
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. Should Representatives and Senators on the conference committee reach a compromise on technical amendments made in the House, it would also then head to Governor Cooper’s desk.