- Legal States
Jerome García January 25, 2023 3 min read
North Carolina Could Support 9 Casinos as It Looks into Gambling
The debate regarding the legalization of mobile sports betting in North Carolina continues and a new report suggests if legalized, the activity may open the door for statewide gambling expansion
There are currently a limited number of gambling options for residents of North Carolina. The state offers raffles, charitable bingo, as well as casino gambling, which is restricted to the three Indian casinos on tribal land in the state. Those locations offer not only casino games, but sports wagering as well. Still, the activity is restricted to retail betting only.
Now, a new report suggests that a statewide online sports betting expansion may open the door for additional casinos in North Carolina. Overall, the state may introduce up to nine new gambling venues around the state, including one located in Asheville, a report from the General Assembly in the state claims, as revealed by the Asheville Watchdog.
Online Betting in North Carolina May Propel Casino Gambling
Currently, North Carolina’s three Tribal casinos pay a 6% tax on their gaming revenues. The three locations where casino gambling is available are Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River as well as Catawba Two Kings Casino.
However, if the legalization of sports betting pushes a statewide gambling expansion, the proceeds are expected to be significant. A report released by Spectrum Gaming Group predicts that if Asheville has a casino, gambling activities are expected to generate some $113 million annually.
Focusing on the bigger picture, the report claims that gaming locations around the state are estimated to raise more than $2 billion by offering different forms of gambling as well as betting on horse racing. The report predicts the creation of nine gambling venues, offering nearly 19,000 slots and 648 table games. Such legalization, according to Spectrum’s report, may rake in more than $420 million in tax revenue for North Carolina by the third year.
Expanding Gambling in North Carolina: Benefits versus Drawbacks
Such a statewide expansion, according to supporters of the plan, is expected to bring significant economic stimulus to the state. This is evident from the report by Spectrum, but besides tax revenue, large-scale gambling venues are expected to boost tourism, create new jobs and impact positively local businesses. At the same time, a statewide gambling and online betting expansion can significantly reduce the share of the black market.
Despite the possible benefits, opponents of the gambling expansion cite concerns about an increase in addictions. When sports betting is involved, the rate of problem gambling increases, warns the National Council on Problem Gambling. Additionally, the Council said that if online sports betting is practiced, the rate of problem gambling increases further.
Without any doubt, online sports betting proposals will be heard by lawmakers considering the start of the legislative season. Still, whether or not such a proposal will pass remains unclear since the activity faces support and rejection from both parties. This leaves the possibility for a statewide gambling expansion far-off.