Examining the Prospects and Potential Challenges of the North Carolina Sports Betting Bill: A Prelude to a Heated 2022 Debate

North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Faces Renewed Attention from Lawmakers

Predicting a Successful Outcome in 2022

Lawmakers in North Carolina are gearing up to give renewed attention to a sports betting bill that failed to gain traction in the previous year. The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 688, has garnered bipartisan support, with sponsors optimistic about its chances of passing through the state’s Legislature.

Legalizing Sports Betting for Increased Revenue

Spearheaded by Representative Jon Hardister, a Republican from Gulliford, the bill aims to establish a legal framework for sports betting in the state. Hardister believes that allowing people to engage in this activity legally will not only make sense but also generate significant tax revenue for North Carolina.

Currently, online sports betting is not permitted in the state, although brick-and-mortar sportsbooks can be found in Cherokee and Murphy, operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Senate Bill 688 seeks to expand the scope of sports betting by allowing professional sports venues and other locations within the state to offer on-site wagering. Furthermore, it aims to legalize online betting, offering greater convenience to enthusiasts.

Potential Economic Impact

Economists have projected that the proposed 8% tax rate on sports betting would generate an estimated $24 million in tax revenue annually. This additional funding could be instrumental in supporting various initiatives and programs within North Carolina.

The Journey So Far

Senate Success, House Challenges

In 2021, Senate Bill 688 successfully passed through the Senate, indicating a positive reception among lawmakers. However, its progress was impeded by time constraints, preventing the legislation from going through the necessary House committees before reaching the House floor.

2022: Clouds of Uncertainty

As the Legislature reconvenes in 2022, it faces a myriad of pressing matters, including the need to address concerns regarding redistricting plans. The uncertainty surrounding the legislative schedule for the year raises questions about the fate of bills like SB 688. Despite this, experts, such as Jordan Roberts from the John Locke Foundation, remain cautiously optimistic, emphasizing that the bill has already passed the Senate and cleared a key House committee. With a few more steps to go, SB 688 may soon receive approval on the House floor.


The North Carolina sports betting bill, Senate Bill 688, has captured the attention of lawmakers, with indications of bipartisan support. By establishing a legalized framework for sports betting, North Carolina can unlock new revenue streams through taxation. The potential economic impact could be substantial, with estimated annual tax revenue of $24 million. Although time constraints and other pressing matters pose challenges, there is hope that the bill will achieve success in the 2022 legislative session.


1. Will the legalization of sports betting affect existing brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in North Carolina?

No, the proposed legislation aims to enhance the scope of sports betting by legalizing online platforms and allowing professional sports venues to offer on-site wagering. Existing brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will continue to operate as they currently do.

2. How will tax revenue from sports betting be utilized in North Carolina?

The tax revenue generated from sports betting will contribute to the state’s budget, potentially supporting various initiatives, programs, and public services, such as education, infrastructure development, and healthcare.

3. What are the next steps for Senate Bill 688?

Senate Bill 688 has already passed the Senate and cleared a key House committee. The next step is for the bill to reach the House floor for approval. If it successfully moves through the remaining stages of the legislative process, it could become law.

4. When could online sports betting become legal in North Carolina?

If Senate Bill 688 receives approval from the House and becomes law, the timeline for legalizing online sports betting will depend on the implementation process outlined in the legislation. Once the necessary regulations and systems are in place, online sports betting could be legalized.

5. How does North Carolina’s proposed tax rate for sports betting compare to other states?

The proposed 8% tax rate for sports betting in North Carolina aligns with rates seen in other states where sports betting is legal. However, specific tax rates may vary from state to state, influenced by factors such as market size, competition, and state budgetary needs.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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