RALEIGH, N.C. — Supporters of legalizing online sports gambling are confident they have the votes to pass a bill this session, just months after failing by a single vote on the House floor.
However, a coalition of North Carolina professional sports teams — big backers of legalization — are seeking changes that would aid their bottom lines but could splinter the stakeholder group that has supported legislation for nearly three years.
The teams want eight of 12 operator licenses available in the state to be allocated to them. Last year’s failed legislation outlined an application process for mobile gambling operators to secure 10 to 12 licenses.
Under their plan, the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL), Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), Charlotte FC (MLS), NC Courage (NWSL), Charlotte Motor Speedway, PGA Tour and NASCAR would each receive a license, allowing them to partner with a mobile operator. The teams would pay the same fee for the licenses — $1 million in the final legislation that failed in the House — but they would control it, providing leverage to make a more lucrative deal.
Playing the lottery is a form of gambling. 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.