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Gambling Bill Launched in North Carolina

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Legal sports betting could be on the way to North Carolina following the passage of a new bill. Bill 154 has cleared the State Senate and will now move to the House of Representatives. If it is approved by that House, the bill will go to Governor Roy Cooper, who will decide whether to sign it into law.

Following the striking down of the 1992 PASPA Act by the Supreme Court last May, many US states have moved to legalise sports betting or to actively consider legalisation. Ten states currently either have a fully-regulated and operational sports betting industry or have passed legalisation legislation. Another 29 states, including neighbouring South Carolina have sports betting bills of various forms under discussion in their state legislatures.

The Bill proposes that Native American casinos that already have licences for Class III gaming will be allowed to take bets on horse racing and on professional and college sports events. At the moment, that would restrict sports betting in the state to the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel, both owned by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee.

In its current form, the bill is light on detail, and doesn’t offer details on a number of issues; notably mobile sports betting, although it has been reported that the Eastern Band are likely to prefer bets made in person at their venues to online gambling. But the bill does make clear that revenue collected from sports betting activity should be paid into the Indian Gaming Education Revenue Fund.

Speaking to the US media about the potential for sports gambling, Richard Sneed, the Chief Executive of the Eastern Band, said that he didn’t expect it to be a significant income generator for the casinos, but he acknowledged that it could lead to some increase in receipts and visitors.

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