group of North Carolina senators filed a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state.
On Wednesday morning, Sens. Jim Perry, a Kinston Republican, and Paul Lowe, a Winston-Salem Democrat, filed Senate Bill 688. If passed, it would authorize sports gambling on professional, college, electronic and amateur sports or any other events approved by the NC Education Lottery Commission. Daily fantasy sports betting is allowed in the state via sites like FanDuel and Draftkings.
Under the bill, the commission would collect an 8% tax on the monthly adjusted gross revenue of gambling companies, sending half of the revenue to a fund that would promote job growth and economic development, WNCN reports. The commission would be authorized to give out at least 10 licenses, but no more than 12.
The state has two tribal casinos to place sports bets on or partake in casino games. About 30 percent of lottery revenue goes to education, including reduced class size in early grades, academic prekindergarten programs, school construction, and scholarships for needy college and university students, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
DPI says that even if the NC Education lottery gave 100 percent of its revenue to schools, that would only cover about 19 percent of the state’s total budget for K-12 public schools. More state revenue from sports betting could help cover a larger percentage of the budget.
According to current North Carolina law, you must 21 years of age and older, though some online betting sites allow some as young as 18 to register for an account. Lawmakers say the bill would make it illegal for any person to offer or accept sports wages in the state without a valid interactive sports wagering operator license. This does not include registered players.
According to the bill, applicants must submit a form from the Commission and pay a licensing fee of $500,000. If the application is denied, the licensing fee will be refunded, minus any expenses incurred by the Commission upon reviewal of the application, the bill reads. Renewal fees would cost $100,000 for interactive sports wagering licenses and $10,000 for a service provider license.
Applicants must not be anyone who has been convicted, or a “key person” of the applicant has been convicted, of a felony or any gambling offense in any state or federal court of the United States within 10 years of application or renewal.
The bill describes a “key person” as an “officer or director of an interactive sports wagering operator who is directly involved in the operation, management, or control of sports wagering authorized under this Article, or who exercises substantial influence or control over the interactive sports wagering operator’s sports wagering activities.”
According to the bill, bettors would also be able to wage bets using cryptocurrency and other digital/virtual currencies, among other traditional forms of payment such as cash or debit/credit card.