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New bill filed to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina

A bill filed in the North Carolina House Monday would legalize online sports gambling across the state.

RALEIGH, N.C. — A bill filed in the General Assembly Monday seeks to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina, including professional and college sports. 

House Bill 347, filed by Rep. Jason Saine of Lincoln County and a bipartisan group of lawmakers, would permit wagering on sports from cellphones and other electronic devices in North Carolina by Jan. 1, 2024. 

Efforts to legalize sports betting in North Carolina failed by a single vote in 2022. Lawmakers now believe there's enough support in the General Assembly to clear any hurdles. Both Democrats and Republicans — including Gov. Roy Cooper — are confident the legislation will pass. 

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"It is something I believe has the support of both chambers," Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger said in January. "It is something the public overall supports. If you have a telephone, you already have access to it. You're not supposed to, but it's there."

Opponents of last year's sports gambling legislation argued on moral grounds and for societal ills they say it can cause. Saine said this new bill addresses those concerns. 

"This bill is a bipartisan bill and we've learned a good bit from both sides about some of the tweaks that needed to happen," Saine told WRAL-TV in Raleigh. "We've worked to accommodate those concerns, and we believe we have a bill that can do better than pass. It can get broad support from both caucuses."

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House Bill 347 permits betting on professional, college, electronics and Olympic sports. It allows for up to a dozen operators to acquire five-year, $1 million renewable licenses to take bets. Sports betting would be taxed at 14%. 

Pro sports teams in North Carolina have backed legalization efforts and the law will allow sports lounges at certain venues across the state, including PNC Arena in Raleigh, Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte and Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

If you are concerned about your gambling or worried about a friend, you can call the NC Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-877-718-5543. You can also contact the National Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.  

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