February 3, 2023 3 min read


This May Be The Year for Sports Betting Legalization in North Carolina

North Carolina is keen not to fall behind when it comes to sports betting – or rather, fall too much behind

As other neighboring states have already legalized betting, including Virginia and Tennessee, North Carolina is equally keen to catch up and do so quickly. This may yet happen with the support of prominent lawmakers from the state such as Phil Berger, who thinks this is the year when the state finally succeeds in pushing its existing gambling framework to include online sports betting on top of the retail options already present in the state.

North Carolina is Hesitant about Online Betting, But Gathering Momentum

There is no shortage of lawmakers who are now taking a close look and throwing their support for various measures to see online sports betting industry state-regulated and bound by a legal framework.

Efforts have been most successful in the Senate, with Senate Bill 688 making it out of a floor vote with 26-19 in favor, but eventually failing with a close margin during a House vote with a slim 49-52 disadvantage in 2021.

Much has changed since then, and while some neighbors are still hold-out out states and not in a hurry to regulate sports gambling, North Carolina seems to be realizing that online betting is already happening – whether it’s regulated and contributed to the state’s tax is down to lawmakers to decide.

New Faces Means New Hopes for Online Sports Betting

The legal makeup is different this year, with 12 new senators and 26 new representatives who may be more open to the idea of pushing online sports betting laws. The fact that more than 30 other states already have is definitely building up the pressure for local states to follow suit as well.

Many are also warning about the dangers of not online legalizing sports gambling. According to Senator Jim Perry, one of the sponsors of SB 688, residents of North Carolina already participate in various sports betting contests – and many do so illegally.

To criminalize an activity that is already legal in the majority of the country, says Perry, would not be productive. Of course, there are concerns. Most opponents insisted that gambling is addictive and it endangers communities and lives, but fail to acknowledge that problem gambling is an issue even now but not enough funding is directed this way. The addition of online betting may secure that additional funding.

Putting a levy on gambling companies to contribute to problem gambling treatment and research, and ensuring that robust consumer safeguards are in place is a better way to tackle the issue than avoiding it altogether. So far, though, there is no legal momentum gathering up in the form of a bill – just chatter.

One rumor is that the state may be expanding gambling with up to nine new casinos that will also end up hosting sports betting. This year’s legislative session is running through August 31, offering legislators plenty of time to debate the matter, though.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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