As the short legislative session is nearing the end in North Carolina, the push to legalize mobile sports betting is expected to move through the General Assembly.
House Majority Whip Jon Hardister told a news source that sports betting will likely be on the move once again after it stayed stagnant from the start, which began on May 18th.
What are the Amendments to the Bill?
The Senate approved SB 688 last year, and was placed in the House Judiciary Committee at the beginning of the session. Lawmakers and all the parties involved are in the final stretch as the session is set to end on June 30th. There are some changes that will be coming to the bill, which include a tax rate increase as the hearing will proceed on Tuesday.
In the original bill, the tax rate was set at eight percent, which would have been one of the lowest in the industry. However, the increased tax rate would bring in more revenue to the state to use to fund numerous programs.
There are a couple more proposed changes during the final stretch of the short session. Another proposed amendment would be to increase the five-year licensing fee from $500,000 to $1 million. Lawmakers are also pushing for an initiative that would increase the renewal licensing fee from $100,000 to $1 million.
A few more changes are on the radar as that would implement a tax on an excise tax instead of a tax on adjusted gross income. That would ultimately bring up the fees for service providers from $25,000 to $50,000 and renewals from $10,000 to $50,000.
This would also entail increased fees on supplier licenses from $15,000 to $30,000 and renewals from $5,000 to $30,000, according to a news source.
The Changes Would Certainly Generate More Money for the Tar Heel State
The goal is to generate more revenue for the start, as these amendments are necessary to make that happen. Rep. Jason Saine stated that the potential tax collections could easily double if this occurs. The initial range in the original bill noted that the tax estimates would have been anywhere between $8 million to $24 million.
Saine told a news source that the bill would include horse racing betting before the Tuesday hearing, according to a preliminary version sent to stakeholders on June 16th. Sen. Paul Lowe, who co-sponsored SB 688, is an advocate for including horse racing in the legislation.
The original bill states that it would create 10-12 mobile licenses in the Tar Heel State. As of right now, sports betting is only available in the two-tribal-owned Harrah’s casinos in the western part of the state as it is home to Caesars Sportsbook, which is hard to get to for those that reside in other parts of the state.
Those living close to the Tennessee border could easily cross state lines to place wagers throughout the year. It’s convenient for those that have the opportunity to go to Tennessee as the Volunteer State only offers mobile sports betting, which means visitors don’t have to go to casinos to place bets.
Can Sports Betting Thrive in North Carolina Once it Signed into Law?
North Carolina is home to over 10.4 million people and is the ninth-most populous state. The Tar Heel State will also get visitors from Georgia as lawmakers in the Peach State failed to legalize sports betting at the beginning of the year.
Gov. Roy Cooper has been an advocate for mobile sports betting in the state as it could create more jobs across the state. Former Charlotte Hornets players Muggsy Boggs and Dell Curry have also expressed support for the bill.