State lawmakers in North Carolina have passed a bill allowing sports betting in select areas within the state. The Bill awaits Governor Roy Cooper’s signature to become law.
On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, the Senate Bill 154 sailed through the final committee stage. This came after the House Commerce Committee approved the bill the previous day. Governor Cooper could sign the bill into law or choose to veto. If he chooses not to sign without vetoing, the bill will automatically become law.
In the legislature, the bill passed with resounding majorities. Last week, the Senate voted 43 in favor of the bill with only seven dissensions. This Monday, the House allowed the bill to proceed to the next stage by a resounding 90 against 27.
For starters, the bill does not legalize sports betting beyond the Cherokee casinos in the Eastern Band. Only wagers on horses in the tribal lands will be allowed.
Speaking to the News & Observer, Rep. Kevin Corbin, one of the supporters of the bill, said the bill is not after legalizing sports gambling in the whole of North Carolina. Simply, the bill will add horse wagering to the state’s whitelist in the specified areas.
North Carolina is following in the steps of two other states whose legislatures passed such a bill last month. On Thursday, June 13, New Hampshire’s House passed an edited version of House Bill 480. Governor Chris Sununu assented the sports betting bill on Monday, July 15.
The law allows both physical betting and betting via mobile phones across the state. However, people will not be allowed to bet to college teams. According to Associated Press, the state expect to earn $7.5 million from sports betting. AP further reported that Sununu will be the first to place a bet.
The legislature in Maine also passed a similar bill in June. However, the vote in the House was very narrow. If assented to, the bill would allow both retail and online sports betting. This did not happen as the Governor put on hold plans to sign the bill. The Governor did not veto the bill but chose to put it on hold.