Sports

Sports betting could be on its way to two specific areas of North Carolina

A man watches a baseball game in the sports book in a Las Vegas hotel. The Supreme Court in 2018 gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states.
A man watches a baseball game in the sports book in a Las Vegas hotel. The Supreme Court in 2018 gave its go-ahead for states to allow gambling on sports across the nation, striking down a federal law that barred betting on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states. AP

State lawmakers continue to move forward a bill that would allow sports betting on tribal land, but not the rest of the state.

Senate Bill 154 will likely get a hearing on the N.C. House floor in the coming days after passing a final committee Wednesday. On Tuesday, the House Commerce Committee gave its approval to the bill, which would also allow horse wagering on tribal land.

Rep. Kevin Corbin, R-Macon, said the bill would limit the betting to the Eastern Band of Cherokee casinos in Cherokee and Murphy. Betting on horses or sports would be not allowed outside of those areas, and it doesn’t expand the areas either.

“We’re not asking you this morning to legalize sports betting and gambling in North Carolina, we’re simply asking you to add this to the list of the games that are allowed” at the casinos, Corbin said.

Sen. Jim Davis, R-Macon, said since the U.S. Supreme Court recently legalized sports betting, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee decided to expand their gaming.

“The Eastern Band have been extremely good stewards of the revenue generated from their gaming operations,” Davis said. It is estimated that revenue from adding sports and horse betting could generate between $1 million and $1.5 million annually for the state.

The bill passed on a voice vote with two audible dissenting votes -- Rep. Keith Kidwell, R-Beaufort, and Frank Iler, R-Brunswick. It now awaits a hearing in the House Rules Committee.

The bill passed the N.C. Senate in April with a 43-7 vote. If it passes the House, it’ll go to Gov. Roy Cooper for him to either sign it into law, veto it, or let it become law without his signature.

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