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Here's how much North Carolina could make from mobile sports betting

Apps like DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM will soon be able to take bets from North Carolinians. Here's how sports venues are reacting to the news.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to sign a sports betting bill that passed the General Assembly, meaning by this time next year, mobile gambling on sports could be a reality. 

As it stands right now, if you're among the thousands of North Carolinians with a sportsbook app on their phone, you'll have to drive across state lines where mobile sports gambling is legal to actually place a bet. Tennessee and Virginia are the only neighboring states that allow mobile sports gambling. You can already place in-person bets at tribal casinos in North Carolina, such as Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain or Harrah's in Cherokee. 

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Sports venues in the Charlotte area, which will be allowed to have in-person sportsbooks, are reacting to the legislation that's heading to Cooper's desk. 

"We appreciate the tireless efforts of members of the NC House and Senate and are grateful for their support," a statement from Tepper Sports and Entertainment said. "This will offer a great entertainment option for fans."

The Panthers, owned by David Tepper, signed a deal with Harrah's Cherokee Casinos in 2019, when lawmakers first proposed legalizing sports betting in North Carolina. 

Charlotte Motor Speedway is also looking to expand its entertainment options for fans looking to wager on NASCAR races and other events. 

"This legislation will not only provide new entertainment opportunities for sports fans, but also promises to drive economic development throughout North Carolina," a spokesperson for Charlotte Motor Speedway said. "We are grateful to those in Raleigh and across the state who have supported this initiative and worked hard to bring it to fruition."

FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars are among the top sportsbook apps that dominate the field. Just watch any game on TV and it's impossible to avoid ads for sports betting on your phone. But if you live in North Carolina, there's only so much you can do with those apps. 

"When I open that app, I can see the odds, I can deposit money wherever, and I can withdraw money wherever, but it will not let me place a bet," Steve Bittenbender with BetCarolina.com said. "A geolocation service will determine, 'Hey, you're not in Indiana, you're not in Virginia, you're not in Tennessee. You're not allowed to place a bet.'" 

Catawba Two Kings Casino plans to get in on the action, too. They released the following statement to WCNC Charlotte: 

"Catawba Two Kings Casino has been successfully operating our increasingly popular onsite sportsbook since September and monitoring the legislative process on statewide online and mobile sports betting. We are hopeful the state’s initiative would create new jobs and economic activity for North Carolinians while preserving the jobs of our current and future casino employees and also protecting our capital investment in the casino. Should the legislation become law, we plan to participate by offering our patrons and residents statewide with a convenient and easy-to-use Catawba Two Kings Casino mobile app and online platform for sports betting."

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Bittenbender has been following the ups and downs of sports betting legislation in North Carolina for years. He said a recent survey on their website found that almost half of users said they'd be interested in participating in legal sports betting at least once a year. 

With operators taxed at 18%, that's a lot of money. North Carolina will allow 12 mobile sports betting apps to operate, as well as eight brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at venues, including Bank of America Stadium and Charlotte Motor Speedway. 

"The state should receive about $100 million in tax revenue by fiscal year 2028," he said. "Based on the size of the market, based on the number of sportsbooks that are likely to be involved in North Carolina, it should be a very healthy, competitive market and a good revenue source for the state for years to come."

That money would be spread across several areas, including youth sports grants and college athletic departments. Some of it would also go toward problem gambling services. 

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.

Contact Jane Monreal at jmonreal@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.  

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