North Carolina on the Cusp of Legal Sports Betting as Legislature Sends Bill to Governor

Jul 16, 2019 10:40 PM EDT
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Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Duke Blue Devils mascot

  • North Carolina lawmakers passed a legal sports betting bill on Monday. If Gov. Roy Cooper signs the legislation, it will officially become law.
  • At the start, wagering would only be permitted in-person at two tribal casinos in the western portion of the state.

North Carolina looked like a longshot to pass a legal sports betting bill at the start of 2019, but a bill easily passed the Senate in April, and on Monday, the same bill passed the House with bipartisan support.

The legislation would allow for legalized sports wagering in-person at two tribal casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, both of which are located in the western portion of the state, 3-4 hours away from Charlotte and 5-6 hours away from Raleigh.

While the bill would not permit any mobile wagering, the state is expected to launch a gaming commission to study the potential expansion of betting. Perhaps most important to the college-sports-crazed North Carolinians, the bill will allow for betting on college sports teams within the state.

Now that the bill has officially passed, all that stands between legal sports betting in North Carolina is Gov. Roy Cooper’s signature. The bill’s sponsors expect the governor to sign the legislation according to Legal Sports Report, but there’s always a chance it hits a snag in the 30-day period Cooper has to sign.

The Supreme Court’s May 2018 ruling that overturned the federal ban on sports betting has allowed states outside of Nevada to legalize it if they wish. Since then, we’ve seen 15 states make the move: Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia.

For updates on where legal sports betting stands in all 50 states, check out our tracker.

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