North Carolina lawmakers drum up support for sports betting bill

Mobile sports betting could arrive in North Carolina sooner than expected as lawmakers in the Tarheel State have reportedly mobilised enough support to pass a bill that would legalise online wagering.

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Last week, North Carolina’s House of Representatives convened for a new legislative session in which Senate Bill 688 was up for debate.

This bill, if passed, would permit both mobile betting and in-person sports wagering at major sports venues. Currently, bettors can only place wagers at North Carolina’s two Cherokee-operated casinos.

In a bi-partisan vote, Bill 688 was approved by North Carolina’s Senate last year, but must now clear the Tarheel State’s House of Representatives before online sports betting can become a reality.

However, the bill’s supporters claim to have garnered enough backing to pass the House during this short session, scheduled to adjourn on 30 June.

The bill’s sponsor, Democrat State Senator Paul Lowe, said in an interview with WRAL News: “We just want to make sure we have drummed up the votes. I feel confident about it.”

Meanwhile, State Representative Jason Saine, a Republican advocate of the bill, said: “We’re ready to rock ‘n’ roll.

“I’ve not heard any new opposition. I think we have a pretty smooth glide path once we do kind of start rolling into session.”

This news comes only a few weeks after Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed a bill that legalised sports betting in the Sunflower State.

North Carolina’s Governor, Roy Cooper, has previously gone on record as saying he would sign Senate Bill 688 into law.

If the Tarheel State does legalise sports betting, it would join more than a dozen other states where online wagering is currently allowed.

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