- North Carolina was poised to pass a sports betting bill, but it failed by one vote.
- SB 38, a bill amending the original bill, did pass, but without the original bill, it doesn’t do anything.
- 19 members of the NC House of Representatives did not participate in the vote.
RALEIGH, N.C. – Sports betting will not be coming to North Carolina just yet, as a necessary companion bill to regulate sports betting in NC failed to pass the North Carolina House by one vote on Wednesday.
What Exactly Happened With NC’s Sports Betting Regulations?
SB 688 is the original bill to regulate sports betting in North Carolina, which currently does not operate any online sportsbooks.
SB 688 passed the Senate, but failed in the House by one vote, falling 50-51.
SB 38 is the other bill on the table, and it was proposed to amend the original bill. This bill has passed the House, but without the passage of SB 688, there’s nothing for it to amend. Notably, it has also not passed the Senate.
Note also that the House has 120 members, meaning there are 19 members of the House who did not participate in this vote – any of whom could end up deciding the future of online gambling in North Carolina.
What Does This Mean For NC Sports Betting?
State Rep. Jason Saine believes that sports betting is not dead – even if a compromise is not found this year.
“It could resurface depending on what happens,” Saine said. “If not, sports wagering is going to remain an issue for the state of North Carolina because … states around us are doing it.”
State Rep. Wesley Harris spoke in support of the bill, citing not just the typical concerns expressed by Saine (sports betting is available in other states) but that the online sportsbooks are already available in NC.
“I certainly understand the concerns of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but I also disagree with them,” said Harris. “The black market does exist and people are already gambling. But there is no regulation and there’s no help for those people.”
The bill would have allocated $2 million out of the revenue raised from sports betting for problem gambling help.