Over the last year, we have seen the US gambling scene gain a substantial amount of traction, especially in an online capacity with regards to this being made available in a number of new states.
It is believed that this has come in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which witnessed a significant drop in revenue nationwide, with lawmakers and political operatives believing that the approval of online gambling in certain states would bring a much-needed boost to economies.
The last 12 months already has seen states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Delaware to name just a few, pass online gambling bills, which allows operators to apply for a license in those states to offer this to residents.
Because of the increase in revenue that this brings in the form of taxes paid by gambling companies who operate in these states, it has seen others sit up and take notice, with the latest one being the hard-hit state of North Carolina.
Legislation to be passed but what’s the catch?
This bill, which was granted a second reading by the North Carolina state legislature, is perhaps not quite as straightforward as one may assume, having faced stiff opposition, with the vote coming in at 26-21.
While online sports betting will now be allowed in North Carolina, residents will only be able to place bets via the internet, if they are inside a licensed sports betting venue, or within half a mile of it.
In the bill itself, an approved ‘venue’ for this is one deemed to be that hosts professional sport and has a minimum seating capacity of 17,000 people. Alternatively, golf venues that host professional tournaments annually are also allowed.
What could this mean?
Following the passing of this bill, it could see more sports venues or casinos built in the state, providing real estate opportunities and even the creation of jobs as a way to help boost the economy, however, the compromise in this bill could be one that does hamper progress.
Operators in the state of Michigan are already reporting a positive response to online gambling (which is allowed from anywhere, with no restrictions), so it could mean that North Carolina is missing out.
What is obvious though, is that regulators are taking a more cautious step where gambling is concerned in the state, with the protection of vulnerable people clearly high on their agenda. It is certainly one to watch with interest and depending on what the response is, in the next couple of years, we may see this latest bill relaxed.
Stephen Kenwright is a journalist and a gaming writer at CasinoSites.org since 2021. Stephen has contributed to many of the top gaming business publications and is a keen attendee at conferences and exhibitions. He has a Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication (MJMC). He’s fascinated by numbers, which is why his favourite game is roulette. When not working or gaming, Stephen enjoys taking walks in nature to collect inspiration for his next article!