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NC moving closer to legalized sports betting

Supporters of the bill say they have enough votes to clear the House and make online sports betting legal in North Carolina in time for this football season.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Online sports betting is moving closer to becoming legal in North Carolina and could be allowed as early as football season if state lawmakers pass a bill in the new legislative session. 

Supporters of Senate Bill 688, which would legalize online sports gambling, say they have enough votes to pass the House this session. Gov. Roy Cooper has said in the past that he would sign legislation brought to him that legalizes online sports betting. 

"We just want to make sure we have drummed up the votes, and I think we have," Sen. Paul Lowe, a Democrat from Forsyth County, told WRAL. "I feel confident about it."

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Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, but only at the two Cherokee casinos in western North Carolina. This new legislation would allow for up to 12 online sports gambling operators to take mobile wagers from users in North Carolina. 

At least 30 other states have legalized sports betting since 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law that banned it in most states.

In 2019, Cooper signed a bill to study the impacts of sports gambling in North Carolina. The study was commissioned to review how much money legalized gambling could bring to the state, the positive and negative impacts, and how it would be regulated. 

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