RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – It seems like it’s a matter of when, not if the Carolina Hurricanes roll out an in-arena sportsbook.
In a column in The Athletic, Pierre LeBrun wrote about a conversation he had with Hurricanes general manager Tom Dundon ahead of the 2021-22 season. One of the topics touched on was growing the organization’s business through sports betting, much like the Washington Capitals recently have.
“Yeah, we’re working on it,” Dundon told LeBrun.
Dundon went on to explain he thinks in-arena betting options will be something all 32 teams eventually implement.
“I think everyone is going to have it eventually. It’s just about when, for the most part, because it seems to be legal in many states and on its way in others,” Dundon told LeBrun. “We’re hopeful it’s something (the state wants) to do.”
Sen. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir), one of the lead sponsors of the bill, has been showing other members how easy it is currently for anyone to go online and place bets. Nearby states, including Virginia and Tennessee, already have legalized sports betting.
He said it makes sense for North Carolina to regulate it and generate tax revenue. He’d like to see that money targeted to low-income school districts, though he said current legislators can’t tie the hands of future legislators when it comes to earmarking that money.
John Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, has been an outspoken opponent of the bill, urging the legislature not to expand legalized gambling.
“All of those social issues, those problems that come along with gambling are what we’re truly concerned about,” he said. “Obviously because it’s a gambling bill, there is massive financial interest behind this legislation.”