The NHL’s Hurricanes Want Their Own Sportsbook, but Will Have to Wait

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The Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL are ready to embrace sports betting. The team apparently wants to have a sportsbook at its arena, but there’s one huge obstacle standing in the way. North Carolina lawmakers seem confounded about sports betting and can’t give a bill that would legalize the activity the proper attention it needs.

Hurricanes Want a Sportsbook

The Hurricanes wouldn’t be the first NHL team to have their own in-arena sportsbook – that honor goes to the Washington Capitals. However, according to Canes GM Tom Dundon, speaking to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, the team is definitely ready to open a sportsbook at PNC Arena in Raleigh, NC. Dundon reportedly stated that the Canes are “working on it” and added, “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. We’re hopeful it’s something (the state wants) to do.”

Sports stadiums, arenas and ballparks across the US are now fully embracing sports betting where legalized. Washington, DC, Arizona, Nevada and more now have, or will soon have, sportsbooks. With Caesars Entertainment recently purchasing the naming rights for the New Orleans Saints’ stadium, now called Caesars Superdome, Louisiana will likely be included in the mix soon, as well.

High Hurdle Stands in the Way

Before the Canes can open their sportsbook, North Carolina has to legalize sports betting across the state. Tribal casinos have already been approved to open their own books, but adding betting properties elsewhere in the Tar Heel State is proving to be much more difficult. For more than two years, efforts have been made to try to legalize the activity, but all have either failed or met enough resistance to keep them from advancing at an acceptable pace.

Some states have been able to go from the starting blocks to the finish line with their sports betting legalization in only a matter of months – NC isn’t one of them. A bill has been on life support for much of 2021 that would allow the state to capture much-needed revenue and, despite finding approval in the state Senate on August 19, it still hasn’t been addressed by the House. Part of the delay comes from the conservative public segment, which believes – wrongly – that legalized sports betting will only lead to financial issues for bettors.

While there have been instances of certain individuals getting carried away with their bets, statistics have shown that the vast majority of bettors keep themselves in check and those who could be considered as having a “gambling problem” make up less than 4% of the population. If the potential for financial harm were a legitimate reason to prevent something from being legalized, pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol and plenty more would probably need to be stricken from the books.

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