A North Carolina online sports betting bill has advanced to the House floor after receiving a favorable report from its final committee stop.
Rep. Jason Saine’s (R-97) online sports betting bill, HB 347, was approved by the House Rules, Calendar and Operations committee today. No members of the committee debated the bill and it was moved along to the House for a potential vote as early as this afternoon.
It was the bill’s fourth committee stop in the last week.
Saine’s bill was amended slightly, changing the potential online sports betting start date from Jan. 1, 2024, to Jan. 8, 2024. Additionally, both dog and horse racing have been stripped from the bill and additional funding will be earmarked for 10 UNC system schools that don’t play in the FBS.
The bipartisan bill has 52 co-sponsors, Saine said. It will allow sports betting on professional, collegiate, and amateur sports (the Olympics).
His bill will allow between 10 to 12 online sports betting operators and sets the state’s sports betting tax rate at 14% of adjusted gross revenue. Operators will be able to deduct promotional bets and bonuses from their taxable revenue with no limitations through 2024, but the deduction rate will decline through 2026 and be disallowed starting Jan. 1, 2027.
Residents much be 21 years of age to participate.
Online sports betting licenses will cost $1 million and be valid for five years. Sports betting in the state will be regulated by the North Carolina Lottery Commission, which would also award the sports betting licenses.
The proposed law allows bets on professional sports, college sports (including in-state schools), eSports, and the Olympic games.
Sports betting tax revenues will be distributed as follows:
If there is any remaining revenue, it will be distributed as follows:
In 2022, the North Carolina Senate approved a similar sports betting bill to Saine’s, but the law stalled out in the House of Representatives on the final day of the legislative session.
Members of the North Carolina House of Representatives approved the online sports betting bill, SB 38, on second reading by a vote of 51-50 on the final night of the 2022 session. However, the House voted down its concurrent bill, SB 688, later in the evening by just one vote.
Even before its vote on the House floor, SB 38 was drastically changed by an approved amendment to disallow collegiate sports betting in the state. Rep. John Autry (D-100) introduced the amendment and it was approved by a vote of 62-39. Autry brought up several alleged point shaving scandals involving former North Carolina State Basketball Coach Jim Valvano as reason for banning collegiate sports betting.
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