June 1, 2023 3 min read


NC Senate Pushes Sports Betting Legalization One Step Closer

North Carolina plans to go live with sports betting at the beginning of 2024 and generate $100 million in tax revenue by the third year of operation

Sports betting legalization in North Carolina is likely to come in 2024 after the state Senate passed the bill authorizing online wagering on professional and college sports, horse racing and other sports, as well as in-person sports betting at certain retail venues.

Eight Licenses Tied to Retail Venues

House Bill 347 was passed on its second reading in North Carolina Senate, with one formal Senate voting remaining before it goes back to the House where changes implemented by the Senate should be approved. The bill cleared the House floor at the end of March.

Once approved by the House, the measure will land on Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk for signing into law but that final step is not expected to delay the process as the governor was very supportive throughout the effort which saw representatives from both the Republicans and Democrats being pro and against it.

The bill authorizes the Lottery Commission to award up to 12 mobile sports wagering licenses but eight of those will be tied to retail facilities where in-person sports betting will be allowed, leaving only four licenses for mobile operators without an in-state partner.

The eight retail sportsbook venues partnering with only one mobile sports betting provider are PNC Arena in Raleigh, WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, Bank of America Stadium and Spectrum Center, both in Charlotte, Charlotte Motor Speedway and North Wilkesboro Speedway, Sedgefield Country Club and Quail Hollow Country Club.

Professional sports clubs and sports facilities requested that their interest should be also taken into consideration, arguing before the start of the legislative session that they should be those most benefitting from the legalization, rather than out-of-state providers.

Taxation, Projections, Tax Spending

If passed into law, the bill sets an 18% tax on gross gaming revenue and the tax base will not deduct the cost of bonuses or promotions operators use widely to attract customers in new markets. State projections show that by the third year of legalization, total bets will exceed $6.6 billion, generating $100 million in tax revenue.

Sports betting tax proceeds will be used to support gambling addiction education and treatment programs, local governments or nonprofit organizations dedicated to amateur and youth sports, and athletic departments across the state’s universities, as well as provide grants to draw entertainment, musical, political, sporting or theatrical events to the state’s venues.

Although stating January 8, 2024, as the bill’s effective date, the measure allows for some flexibility saying that the start date shall be determined by the Lottery Commission no later than 12 months after the bill has become law.

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