Third Sportsbook To Open In North Carolina, But Clock Ticking On Mobile Wagering Bill

Third Sportsbook To Open In North Carolina, But Clock Ticking On Mobile Wagering Bill
© USA Today

Time is running out on a proposal to legalize mobile sports betting in North Carolina, as this year’s legislative session enters its final days. 

While lawmakers wrap up their work for the year, however, a third in-person sportsbook is scheduled to open soon inside a North Carolina tribal casino.

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Sportsbook To Open By Football Season

The new sportsbook will be located at Two Kings Casino, according to WRAL-TV. The casino, owned by the Catawba Nation, is in Kings Mountain, just west of Charlotte on Interstate 85.

Delaware North, a Buffalo, New York-based gaming operator, is consulting on the sportsbook project. Delaware North operates gaming facilities in New York, Ohio and Arkansas. Its Betly Sportsbook app is live in Arkansas, West Virginia and Tennessee.

Right now, the only legal sports wagering in North Carolina occurs at sportsbooks inside two Cherokee casinos in the western part of the state.

The sportsbook inside Two Kings Casino is expected to open by football season. 

The NFL regular season begins Sept. 8, but preseason action kicks off Aug. 4 with a game in Canton, Ohio, between the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars. 

North Carolina's NFL team, the Carolina Panthers, pictured, open their regular season on Sept. 11 at home against the Cleveland Browns.

The college football season begins Aug. 27 with several games scheduled, including a nonconference matchup between Florida A&M and the University of North Carolina.

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Mobile Wagering Stalls In House Committee

Last week in Raleigh, the House of Representatives approved one mobile sports betting measure, Senate Bill 38, on 51-50 vote but killed another, Senate Bill 688, by a vote of 52-49.

During the debate over mobile wagering, some House members said gambling can lead to poverty, suicide and crime.

Supporters said North Carolinians already are using illegal mobile apps to bet on sports and are traveling next door to Tennessee and Virginia, where mobile wagering is legal, depriving North Carolina of tax revenue,   

SB38 was removed from the House calendar last week and sent to the Rules, Calendar and Operations Committee. A committee hearing has not been scheduled.

Before it was sent to the committee, a provision that would have allowed wagering on college sports was stripped from the bill. Bettors still would be able to wager on professional sports and out-of-state horse races.

If voted out of committee and sent back to the full House, it would need approval there and in the Senate before going to Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper for his consideration. The governor has indicated he would support the measure.

House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, said the legislative session likely will extend beyond its scheduled adjournment on Thursday, as legislators work on approving a state budget. 

On Monday, Moore said legislators can expect to be in session casting votes on bills this Friday and Saturday. No votes occurred Monday.

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