Sports betting bill clears legislature - heads to Governor

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 8:18 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - Lawmakers have been debating sports betting since 2019, but now the end is in sight

“Just make it legal for a change. There are so many bookies in the state; why not go ahead and legalize it,” said Greenville resident Eddie Pinnix.

House Bill 347 was introduced early in the legislative session, but it has faced significant debate and changes, such as increasing tax rates and adding wagers on horse racing.

Lawmakers also agreed to allocate money from license fees and taxes to several different areas after the Department of Revenue and Lottery Commission receive money for expenses.

They include two million dollars annually for the Department of Health and Human Services for gambling addiction education and treatment programs. Along with three hundred thousand dollars to the athletic departments at several universities and colleges, including ECU.

Despite the large number of discussions on the bill, there are still some people unsure about it.

“As a parent, be mindful to share with your kids the pros and cons of betting. I mean, it’s probably not a good thing. It’s hard to make money, and it’s easy to lose. Most people that bet don’t win,” said Rob Kelly, Wilmington Resident.

Currently, sports betting is allowed on tribal land in North Carolina, but with this bill, in-person books would be allowed at eight sports venues throughout our state.

Governor Roy Cooper still needs to sign the bill to make it law. If he approves it, sports betting would start no earlier than January eighth of next year.

The NC Education Lottery Commission would be responsible for the administration and regulations of sports betting.