North Carolina Gov Signs 'Historic' Law Legalizing Sports Betting

“This is a historic moment for the state of North Carolina and this will benefit our economy for generations to come.”

Jun 14, 2023 • 14:05 ET • 4 min read
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Gov. Roy Cooper made history in North Carolina on Wednesday as he signed House Bill 347 into law, paving the way for legal sports betting throughout the Tar Heel State. 

Online betting sites and select venues can begin operating as early as January 8, 2024, but the bill calls for sports betting to launch within 12 months of Cooper’s signing.

“This is a historic moment for the state of North Carolina and this will benefit our economy for generations to come,” Cooper said Wednesday.

The governor turned the bill into law at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets and one of the venues that can create a brick-and-mortar sportsbook.

“Let's face it, sports wagering is already happening in our state. Surrounding states here and across the country are already taking advantage,” Cooper said. “In fact, today in Vermont, Gov. (Phil) Scott is signing similar legislation there. This legislation allows the state of North Carolina to regulate it and to put safeguards on it, as well as provide funding for helping people with problem gambling.”

Future of great benefits 

HB 347 was originally introduced by the House of Representatives, passed through into the Senate, and successfully made it back to the House for concurrence of several amendments last week before ending up in front of Cooper. Legislators ultimately believed that there were great benefits to legalizing sports betting, something Cooper has supported since last year when a similar bill was struck down by the General Assembly.

Cooper noted how important college basketball in the Tar Heel State is and has been, but he said having legal sports betting will help professional franchises already within North Carolina thrive as well as attract more teams. Cooper also said that taxpayers will reap the benefits, and he urged legislators, as they debate how to spend the tax revenue supplied by future sportsbook operators, to consider investing in public education. 

North Carolina legislators estimated the state could bring in nearly $70 million in tax revenue in the first year and potentially $100 million by Year 5. 

State of sports betting

The only way to currently wager on sports in the Tar Heel State is at three tribal casinos. But that will all change next year after the lottery commission creates infrastructure to regulate sports betting in North Carolina, awards up to 12 mobile operator licenses, and determines exactly which sports will be allowed to accept wagers. 

HB 347 calls for professional and college sports as well as Olympics, eSports, and horse racing to be options for mobile wagering and sportsbooks at eight venues, including Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers), PNC Arena (Carolina Hurricanes), Charlotte Motor Speedway, and Quail Hollow Country Club.

Operators will pay a $1 million fee for being licensed for five years, and the state will charge an 18% tax on sportsbooks’ winnings that will go to various funds, including a gambling addiction program.

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