North Carolina has little time left to approve sports gambling legislation
By Bob Garcia
The legislative session ends in a couple of weeks and no decision on sports gambling exists
The clock is ticking and bills that would authorize and regulate sports betting in North Carolina had better be discussed before the 2021 regular legislative session comes to an end. This session is scheduled to close just before Independence Day, and the sponsors of several bills have been doing everything they can to get the proper attention before time expires. It is understood that, if all goes well at the end of the day, fans could get to place bets at the Carolina Panthers home field and other professional sports venues in North Carolina.
This task, which is being handled under Senate Bill 688 and sponsored by Senators Jim Perry and Paul Lowe, has been stalled since April 8, when it was referred to a Senate rules committee. On the other hand, House Bill 631 introduced by Representative Jason Saine in April has also not seen much movement after Saine himself withdrew his proposal because he felt it was not ready enough and because he indicated that he prefers the Senate companion bill to be heard first.
Under the provisions of both bills, an 8% tax rate on gambling has been established, a number that appears to be quite low compared to the taxes that other states have imposed. In addition to all this, 12 online licenses would be issued under this legislation, and the idea is to allow professional sports facilities with greater capacity the ability to establish on-site wagering if they so desire. Both bills must be debated before the Legislature takes action on them. Both Perry and Saine are positive and believe that, once the North Carolina Legislature finishes fine-tuning some of the details of the biennial budget, they will turn their full attention to other legislations, such as sports betting.