North Carolina Representative Jason Saine has filed a bill (HB 347) authorizing sports wagering in North Carolina. Joining Representative Saine as primary sponsors are Representatives Bell, Hawkins, and Clemmons. The bipartisan bill has ample support from both parties, and after passing the North Carolina Senate but narrowly failing last session in the North Carolina House of Representatives by a vote of 49-52, members are hoping a version of this bill will make it through.
The new bill appears to pick up where the bill left off last year, including a 14% privilege tax and a $1 million licensing fee for 10-12 mobile sportsbooks. Differences include adding college sports back into the bill and authorizing $300,000 plus a percentage of leftover proceeds to low-funded collegiate athletic departments.
Last year, amendments to the sports wagering bills (SB 38 and SB 688) removed wagering on college sports, a big industry in a state that loves college sports, and another amendment apportioned a percentage of revenues to athletic departments at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).
New additions include apportioning $1 million annually to the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation for grants to counties to purchase sports equipment, upgrade facilities, or other improvements. Further, $1 million annually will go to the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for grants to assist local teams needing travel assistance and to attract sporting events.
This bill will surely go through several changes as members of North Carolina’s General Assembly work through the new bill. After passing the House, the bill must go through the North Carolina Senate. Even so, this bill appears to have ample support from both sides of the aisle and should pass before the end of the next session.