A bill that would legalize sports betting in North Carolina has passed a final General Assembly State vote and is on its way to the governor.
In a NC House of Representatives vote Wednesday, the legislation passed 68-45. The House had already approved a version of the bill. It was brought up for another vote because of Senate changes. Governor Roy Cooper must now decide whether to sign the bill into law, opening the door for legalized sports betting in North Carolina.
House Bill 347 would make it legal to bet on almost all sports in North Carolina except youth sports. Senators added horse racing to the sports that North Carolinians could legally bet on. The bill also includes in-person and online sports betting.
According to Spectrum News, around a dozen companies will be licensed to take bets and operate sportsbooks near sports facilities if House Bill 347 becomes law. All legalized betting would be regulated by the North Carolina Lottery Commission. Revenues from legalized betting would be earmarked to support youth and college sports, education and gambling addiction prevention.
Currently, legal gambling is limited in North Carolina. Gambling is allowed via the North Carolina Education Lottery, three casinos operated by Native Americans, and charity bingo games. Although video poker machines are widespread in the state, these electronic games are not legal and are often subject to shutdown raids. Still, officials estimate that between 60,000 and 100,000 of the machines are currently operating illegally in North Carolina. This has prompted a separate effort to regulate them.