RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Betting on your favorite sports team in North Carolina could be possible if the state’s sports wagering bill continues to make its way through the General Assembly.
The bill would allow sports betting on professional, collegiate, amateur and e-sports competitions.
In order to do so, wagering operators would have to pay a $1 million licensing fee, as well as 14 percent on all wagering revenue.
Tuesday, House Commerce Committee members discussed legalizing mobile sports wagering and moved the bill forward to the finance committee.
Representatives debated, but ultimately struck down multiple amendments that would have limited the bill to just professional sports or prohibited credit card wagers.
Bill sponsors Rep. Jason Saine (R-Lincoln) and Rep. Zack Hawkins (D-Durham), spoke about the revenue benefits to the state should betting become legalized.
“We know that it exists, but instead of ignoring it, we want to bring it from the dark into the light,” Hawkins said. “Much like we allow for taxes on alcohol and cigarettes, we could use this activity, this revenue from an activity already happening in our state, for good.”
The bill says:
- $2 million would be given to the state health department for gambling addiction services;
- $1 million would go to state parks and recreation;
- $1 million would also go toward sports incentive grants.
Then, $300,000 would go to seven North Carolina historically black colleges and university athletics programs.
Everything after that would be split: 60 percent for the general fund, 30 percent would be put aside to bring in more major sporting events and the final 10 percent back to HBCU athletic programs.
Rep. Deb Butler (D-New Hanover) spoke out against the bill, warning against the potential impacts of increased and excessive gambling.
“Gambling is going to exponentially increase if we go down this path,” Butler said. “We are knowingly sanctioning additional abusive behavior, excessive behavior, uncontrollable behavior and heartbreaking behavior.”