There are currently three casinos that offer land-based gambling in North Carolina. The venues are run by two Native American Tribes and provide vital support in the form of jobs and proceeds for different initiatives. Yet, North Carolina recently expanded its gambling activities by legalizing online sports betting. While retail betting options have been available for a few years at the three tribal casinos, mobile betting is expected to go live early next year, possibly in January.
But while mobile betting is undoubtedly a step forward for the state, especially considering the statewide popularity of wagering on sports, further expansion of the gambling market in the state is possible. While lawmakers are yet to discuss options for the expansion of gambling activities, a new report suggests that such discussions can be expected this summer.
As reported by the Associated Press, North Carolina’s Senate leader, Phil Berger, recently commented on the possible expansion of gambling activities in the state. He explained that such discussions are undoubtedly serious. When asked to determine what are the chances of the state’s governor, Roy Cooper, receiving a proposal, which may be tied to a budget agreement or separate, Berger said “better than 50-50.”
Gambling Expansion to Create New Jobs, Raise Tax Revenue
According to Berger, the expansion of gambling in North Carolina would prevent the state from losing money to gambling in nearby states. Recently, neighboring Virginia opened the doors of a new casino. Upon visiting the location which is some 25 miles from Berger’s hometown, he explained that approximately 80% of the cars there had a North Carolina license plate.
By expanding gambling activities in the state, lawmakers would seek to reduce the money lost to such activities in nearby states and at the same time, raise tax revenue and create new jobs. Berger confirmed that raising additional revenue for the state’s coffers would bring “multiple benefits.”
“The gaming is already taking place in North Carolina, and gaming is taking place on the border of North Carolina that is pulling money out of North Carolina.“
Phil Berger, Senate leader in North Carolina
While discussions about the possible gambling expansion in North Carolina are likely to continue, opponents of the activity share their concerns. Despite the additional revenue and new jobs that can be created, anti-gambling groups warn that statewide expansion of gambling would bring more harm than benefits, impacting the lives of entire families and even children.