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North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper approves gambling expansion bill

North Carolina sports betting bill - Governor Roy Cooper expands gambling

In a significant development, Governor Roy Cooper of North Carolina has given his approval to a bill that expands gambling opportunities in the state.

The legislation, which recently received final approval from the Republican-controlled General Assembly, paves the way for the introduction of regulated sports betting and horse racing within the first half of the upcoming year.

Governor Cooper held a bill-signing ceremony at the Spectrum Center, home of the Charlotte Hornets NBA team, highlighting the potential for sportsbooks to be established near professional sports venues. This move is expected to attract stronger in-state professional sports franchises, boost revenue, and create job opportunities.

Under the new law, the North Carolina Lottery Commission will be responsible for issuing licenses to entities interested in offering mobile and online sports betting. Individuals aged 21 and above will also have the option to place cash bets on professional, college, or Olympic-style sports at select in-person betting locations linked to stadiums, arenas, golf courses, and racetracks.

With the enactment of this legislation, North Carolina will join the ranks of 28 other US states that have already legalised or authorised mobile sports betting. The aim is to regulate and tax these activities, curbing illegal underground gambling and offshore betting accounts.

Previously, legal sports betting in North Carolina was limited to the state’s three tribal casinos. However, neighbouring states such as Tennessee and Virginia have already implemented mobile sports betting, attracting North Carolina residents to cross state lines for their gambling needs. By embracing regulated sports betting and horse racing, North Carolina seeks to create a safer and controlled environment for these activities.

Despite facing opposition from various groups concerned about the potential negative impacts of gambling addiction, the legislation successfully passed. Sports wagering will be taxed at a rate of 18% on gross betting revenue, with estimates suggesting annual sports betting taxes could exceed $100 million within five years. These funds will be allocated to support local, regional, and state athletics initiatives, athletic programs at the University of North Carolina, and programs addressing problem gambling.

Additionally, the legislation grants authority to the North Carolina Lottery Commission to establish rules governing live horse racing, further expanding the gambling landscape in the state.

With the bill now signed into law, North Carolina is set to undergo a significant transformation in its gambling industry. The expansion of regulated sports betting and horse racing will provide new opportunities for residents and visitors alike while contributing to the state’s economy through increased revenue and job creation.

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