NC says yes to sports gambling
The Tar Heel State will allow sportsbooks at its two tribal casinos
Tar Heel State lawmakers are showing that they’re not going to be part of the conservative crowd for which North Carolina was once known. Already this year, laws regarding casino activity have been loosened to allow charity casino nights and a new law has now been approved that will allow sports gambling in the state. The approval is somewhat surprising, given the recent rejection of legalized daily fantasy sports in NC.
Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 154 (SB 154) last Friday, bringing the state to sit alongside 16 others that have legalized sports gambling. As a result of his signature making its way to the bill, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will now be able to offer sportsbooks at their two Harrah’s-branded casinos, both of which are operated by Caesars Entertainment.
SB 154 pushed to classify sports wagers as a Class III activity, which facilitated the approval of the legislation. It was a quick and easy way to move forward and try to capture some of the billions of dollars that are said to be spent annually by US gamblers on sports competitions.
There are no restrictions – virtually any athletic contest can receive a wager. There is also no integrity fee, much to the dissatisfaction of major sports leagues. An attempt to prevent college games from being the subject of wagers was shot down halfway through the legislative session.
What is still off the table in NC is online gambling. Mobile wagers are still not ready to be approved, which could be a result of the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) questionable reversal on the decades-old Federal Wire Act. It will be at least another six months before the DOJ makes a move in relation to the Wire Act, which means the entire country has to wait to see if anyone tries to stare down the government body.