In a groundbreaking move, North Carolina inches closer to legalising sports betting, following the state Senate’s favourable vote on a bill destined for this purpose. House Bill 347, introduced on March 13, briskly sailed through North Carolina’s House of Representatives by March 30, before making its way to the Senate. Here, it earned its passage on its second reading.
The bill, once enacted into law, would grant a green light for wagers on sports and horse racing within the boundaries of North Carolina. This advancement could be a seismic shift for the state’s gambling landscape, infusing fresh dynamism into the industry and opening a wealth of opportunities for both businesses and enthusiasts alike.
Licensing Structure and Fees
Under the provisions of the North Carolina Pending Bill, a Commission will be authorised to issue a maximum of 12 interactive sports wagering licenses. These coveted permits will span a broad spectrum, encompassing professional sports, college sports, esports, amateur sports, and any other sports event receiving the Commission’s approval. This inclusive approach signifies the state’s readiness to embrace a diversified sports betting culture.
The journey to secure an interactive sports wagering license carries a price tag of $1 million. For service provider license applications, a considerably lower licensing fee of $50,000 has been set. As for sports wagering supplier licenses, a $30,000 application fee will be applicable. All licenses come with a validity period of 5 years, ensuring operators a reasonable time frame to recoup their investment and generate profits.
Last year, two sports betting bills managed to cross the legislative session’s finish line in June, only to stumble thereafter, making no significant progress. This year, however, with the Senate’s affirmation, there’s renewed hope for a flourishing sports betting scene in North Carolina.
North Carolina Pending Bill: Implications for the iGaming Industry
The developments in North Carolina’s sports betting sphere have far-reaching implications for the wider iGaming industry:
- Expansion of Market: With the potential legalisation of sports betting, North Carolina is opening its doors to a vast market, providing iGaming operators with an excellent opportunity to expand their services and reach a new audience.
- Increased Revenue: The hefty licensing fees and the promise of increased betting activity could result in a substantial revenue boost for the state. This would financially empower the state to support other sectors, indirectly benefiting its economy.
- Standardisation and Regulation: The introduction of a formal licensing process will regulate and standardise sports betting operations, ensuring a safe, fair, and transparent betting environment for patrons. This movement towards legalisation and responsible gaming follows a shared trend in the iGaming industry.