Legislation could allow North Carolina tribe to offer sports betting

Lawmakers in North Carolina are considering a bill that would allow the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer sports betting in the state.

The bill, titled SB 154, was discussed in a Senate committee on Wednesday and will receive a vote next week.

In order for the bill to progress to the House, it must clear two committees and a Senate floor vote.

If successful, the bill would add sports wagering to the Class III games that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians can offer. This would allow punters to wager on the outcome of professional and collegiate sporting events on tribal land.

Off-track betting on horse racing was also incorporated into the bill during the committee discussion on Wednesday.

The bill does not contain provisions for online or mobile sports betting and would limit betting to the tribe’s casinos.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians support the proposed legislation and currently operate two casinos in the state. Both Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel are operated by the tribe.

Senator Jim Davis, Author of the bill, predicts that the legalization of sports betting could generate about $14m in annual revenue for the tribe and $1m for the state.

In the past, Davis has sponsored gambling expansion legislation for the tribes twice. On both occasions, the bills were approved with very little opposition.

Earlier this month, Davis told Legal Sports Report that he doesn’t expect there to be an issue getting the bill approved and signed by the governor.

In other regulatory news, the Governor of Rhode Island, Gina Raimondo has signed a bill legalizing mobile sports betting in Rhode Island.

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