Monday, December 6, 2021

Inactive North Carolina sports betting law reappears

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Senate legislation to authorize and regulate sports gambling in North Carolina was reintroduced in the House on Thursday, as a committee voted to advance the measure with support that lines up with party lines. Doesn’t cut neatly.

The law seeks to condition that bill proponents say already occurs within North Carolina’s borders through offshore online websites or local bookmakers and regulates them through state licensing, regulation and taxation.

“It’s something we can’t ignore. It’s already here,” said Rep. John Hardister, a Guilford County Republican who helped the Senate measure through the House Commerce Committee in a 12-4 vote “We need to set up the framework, we need to get revenue.”

The measure, which the Senate already approved with bipartisan support in August, must still go through three other House committees before reaching the House floor.

“It has a long way to go,” said Rep. Jason Signe, a Lincoln County Republican and another bill manager, adding that there was no strategy to rush the measure in the weak days of this year’s legislative session. If it stalls. , even then the bill can be considered when the legislature reconvenes next year.

Legislation Along with supplier licenses for these operators, the North Carolina Education Lottery will direct the Commission to issue 10 and 12 interactive sports wagering operator licenses. Betting can be done on college, professional and some amateur sports. Licensees may set up an individual betting location within the online app, as well as within or near a professional sports arena or where a pro golf event is held.

The state will collect 8% of an operator’s adjusted gross revenue. Half of the tax proceeds will go to a special fund to attract sporting events and attractions in the state. Legislative analysis of a previous version of the bill estimated that the annual revenue collected could reach $24 million. Bill supporters have said the 8% tax could be higher.

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At least 20 states—including Tennessee and Virginia—and the District of Columbia offer sports betting, according to the National Convention of State Legislatures. Interest increased after the US Supreme Court ruling in 2018. The Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians opened on-site betting operations at two of its Far West North Carolina casinos this year thanks to a 2019 law.

A group of Christian conservatives and at least one progressive Democrat opposed the measure on Thursday, saying it would create more gambling addicts, disproportionately harm the poor, and lead to more social ills.

“However you characterize it, it is a wild extension of gambling in North Carolina,” said New Hanover County Democrat Rep. Deb Butler, who also downplayed the prevalence of sports gambling in the state. “I think it’s clear to me that it’s going to affect those who can arguably least afford it the most.”

Chase McDowell, a lobbyist who represents Major League Baseball, the NBA, the PGA Tour and the Charlotte Hornets, pointed out that the bill would put more money into addressing problem gambling. Regulating gambling would also help preserve the integrity of sporting outcomes, which can be questioned when large offshore bets are raised, he said.

McDowell warned that North Carolina is lagging behind other states in competing for new franchises and events because it lacks authorized in-state betting that could benefit the league. “They have a better market for sports because sports betting is another line of revenue,” he said.

Brunswick County GOP Representative Frank Iller, a member of the committee, said he was ready to move the measure but had not committed to supporting it in a floor vote.

“When I go back home I’m going to start polling people and see where the church(s) and older people are attending or whether they think it’s a good idea, and see if there are other What comes on the side,” said Iller.

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