July 27, 2023 3 min read

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Lawmakers in NC Receive Contributions from Gambling Company, Report Claims

While North Carolina is considering options for expansion of casino gambling, a new report suggests that at least eight lawmakers received contributions from Baltimore-based gambling firm

North Carolina legalized online sports betting activities in mid-June and anticipates launching the activity at some point next year. With the expansion of betting options, state lawmakers are also considering expansion of the casino-style gambling options as an activity that can help raise tax revenue and create new jobs. But while a proposal calling for the casino gambling expansion in North Carolina is yet to gain further traction, a new report suggests that more than a handful of lawmakers in the state have received campaign cash from people related to an out-of-state gambling operator.

As reported by Carolina Public Press, at least eight North Carolina lawmakers have received a total of $34,400 between November 2022 and March 2023. The latest report cited submissions with the Federal Election Commission and the North Carolina State Board of Elections, revealing that the sum received by the lawmakers came from at least four donors, allegedly tied to Baltimore-based The Cordish Companies.

The contributions immediately captured the attention of gambling expansion critics and financial analysts that worried about the potential impact of those donations and whether or not they may create an unfair advantage for The Cordish amid North Carolina’s plans for new casinos across the state.

Receiving Contributions Isn’t Illegal

The former executive director of Democracy NC, Bob Hall, explained that the acceptance of such contributions is not illegal. He added: “It could be the tip of the iceberg of the money that is falling into political campaigns and dark money operations that will be or have been funding General Assembly candidates and politicians.”

Reportedly, Sen. Phil Berger and Sen. Lisa Barnes received campaign contributions of $5,600 each from Joseph Weinberg, the CEO and managing partner of Cordish Gaming Group in November 2022 and December 2022 respectively. At the time, the limit for contributions per donor per election was $5,600, a sum that was changed to $6,400. Another six lawmakers also received sums that varied in size.

The latest announcement comes after earlier this month, House Speaker Tim Moore spoke to WRAL, revealing details regarding a proposal that calls for the development of four casinos across North Carolina. Per the proposal, the state would allow the development of casinos located in Rockingham, Nash and Anson, as well as a fourth venue, possibly located in the southeastern part of North Carolina. The investment has a price tag of $1.5 billion and it is likely that a single gambling operator would be granted the right to develop all three sites, with the fourth being run by the Lumbee Tribe.

The draft of the proposal requires an investment of $500 million for each of the three new casino locations. Ultimately, the expansion of gambling is expected to help create more than 5,000 new jobs and serve as an economic stimulus for the regions where the casinos are located. With the final proposal yet to be discussed by lawmakers, the faith in the casino expansion in North Carolina isn’t sealed for the moment.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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