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North Carolina Bill 346 passes Senate Finance & Rules Committees

North Carolina Panthers could soon have more betting action on them

Mobile sports betting crossed two hurdles in the North Carolina Senate on Tuesday and will advance to the upper chamber this week.

The Senate Finance and Rules committees approved House Bill 347 on Tuesday with minimal discussion. The bill is set to receive a vote on the Senate floor as early as Wednesday and a final vote on Thursday.

The measure will allow statewide sports betting in North Carolina, which legalised gambling in brick-and-mortar casinos run by tribal casinos in 2020.

If the Senate approves the measure, it will be sent back to the House, which voted 64-45 in March, for a concurrence vote. Approval from the House will push HB 347 to Gov. Roy Cooper’s desk for his signature. The governor, who previously disclosed his support for the bill, will have 30 days to act on it.

HB 347 will launch “no later than 12 months” from the date it becomes law, according to an amendment by the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. The original bill set January 8, 2024, as the date for the launch.

The legislature was also amended to remove a provision for historical horse racing, which allowed gamblers to place bets on replays of previous horse races.

In its march across the Senate, HB 347 has been amended to increase its tax rate on sports betting, along with a ban to stop operators from deducting promotional pay. Last week, the bill was altered to include pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, which was left untouched during the recent review.

The sports betting tax rate was also moved from 14% to 18% across the 12 digital platforms allowed by the bill. The total amount for wagering tax and fee revenue for 2023–24 was placed at $22.1 million, while $100.6 million is expected in 2027–28.

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