North Carolina Senate passes sports betting bill

Simona Boshkova | Published 19 Aug 2021, 8:50 a.m.

If you follow the news articles that we cover here at SlotsWise, you’ll be familiar with the US sports betting updates we share. For example, we’ve recently reported that Washington sports betting took another key step by approving rules for legal betting in tribal casinos.

At the same time, Wyoming has announced that it is ready to open sports betting applications and issue licences to potential launches. Wyoming might not be the largest US sports betting market, but it surely does things in the right way. 

Now, it’s time for North Carolina to legalise sports betting. This Wednesday, North Carolina’s Committee On Rules and Operations of the Senate passed sports betting bill. However, the bill foresees legal online betting only in sports venues.

Sports betting available only in sports facilities

Yesterday, North Carolina Senate lawmakers tentatively approved legal sports betting in the state. The North Carolina Lottery Commission would act as a regulator of the Senate Bill 688, which was approved under a narrow 26-21 vote. The Commission will be responsible for issuing licences to operators in the market.

Under the bill, players would be able to place bets online, via mobile, or in person. However, regarding physical betting, players can place bets only in sports facilities in the immediate area of major sporting events.

A sports facility is defined as a facility that hosts professional sports and has a minimum capacity of 17,000 people. When it comes to North Carolina, sports facilities include the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, plus six different racetracks including the Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Furthermore, under Senate Bill 688, the Lottery Commission can issue between 10 and 12 operating licences. The operators would have to pay $500,000 for their initial license and then $100,000 annually to renew. The state would also require licenses and fees from vendors that supply licensed gambling operations. All licences would last five years.

According to the Senate, half of the tax revenue will go to the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund. This fund would “promote the attraction of major events to the State which stimulate economic activity and create jobs”. The remaining funds would be passed to the state General Fund.

The final Senate vote is set for today. It then goes to the House.

Pennsylvania reaches record gambling revenue in July

Meanwhile, the US states that already have legal sports betting have started to publish their revenue records for July. One of them is Pennsylvania, which reached record gambling revenue last month.

Namely, gambling revenue in Pennsylvania increased by 49.7% year on year and reached a record $423.8 million in July. This amount also surpassed the May record of $413.2 million. At the same time, this year’s July record is much higher than the record posted in July 2020.

According to Pennsylvania Gambling Commission, the significant revenue increase was due to the reopening of land-based casinos. On the other hand, online gambling revenue has also increased by 63.1% and reached $88.7 million. The main source of this revenue was online slots which generated $63.2 million.

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