Gambling experts weigh in on the potential of legalized mobile sports betting in NC

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 11:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -A well-known hobby that many consider to be unhealthy, may be on its way to North Carolina.

“This is the biggest con right now in America,” said Les Bernal, Stop Predatory Gambling National Director. “It’s a huge rip-off.”

Sports betting has been popular across the nation for as long as many can remember but it hasn’t always been done legally, especially in the Tar Heel State.

“There’s a lot of folks that are gambling in North Carolina,” said Keith Whyte, National Council on Problem Gambling Executive Director.

North Carolinians can bet on professional and college sports at a handful of casinos in North Carolina, but House Bill 347 would allow them to do so on their cellphones and other electronic devices.

The House is currently in the process of voting on the bill that would legalize mobile betting, however, gambling experts Bernal don’t like the idea.

“If they legalize this bill in North Carolina, they’re about to unleash an epidemic of child gambling,” Bernal said.

Bernal testified at the House Committee meeting a week ago because he believes the bill’s passing would lead to people developing gambling issues, which Whyte agrees with.

“When they start to develop a problem, they begin to spiral downward,” Whyte said. “They go from the winning phase to losing phase, and then to the desperation phase.”

The House voted 66-45 Tuesday afternoon during the bill’s second reading, but the group still has to make the final vote Wednesday.

Legalized mobile and online sports betting has certainly caused some to have mixed feelings but Whyte says no matter what happens he just wants people to be smart, particularly young men.

“The majority of people who either have or will develop sports betting problems are young males,” Whyte said. “That’s where there’s a concentration of risk.”