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North Carolina Introduces Sports Betting Bill

Bill Would Only Allow In-Person Sports Betting At Tribal Casinos


North Carolina, a state with very few gaming options, is jumping on the sports betting bandwagon that is sweeping the nation. Not surprisingly, it will be in a very limited scope.

State Sen. Jim Davis introduced S 154 at the end of February, which would allow the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to offer sports betting at their two casinos. Harrah’s Cherokee Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel are the only two casinos in the state and are both located near the state’s border with Tennessee.

The bill would add sports betting to the list of Class III games that the tribe is allowed to spread at their casinos. It would allow betting on both professional and collegiate sporting events.

According to several media outlets, the tribe asked Davis for this expansion. Harrah’s Cherokee is within the district that he represents and he has gotten two previous gambling expansions passed at their request as well.

The bill does not include mobile wagering. The tribe only wants in-person betting at their casinos.

“The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has been working with the leadership within Harrah’s and Caesars regarding an opportunity to expand our gaming offerings on the Qualla Boundary,” said Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed. “Sports betting is an emerging market across the country and is within the purview of the EBCI provided some changes to the existing legislation governing EBCI gaming are made. I have been working with friends of the EBCI in Raleigh regarding expanding our gaming offerings.”

North Carolina becomes the 30th state this year to introduce a sports betting bill and Davis expects the bill to easily pass through both Republican-dominated chambers and signed by Democrat Gov. Roy Cooper.

If everything goes according to Davis’ projected timeline, there would be legal sports betting at North Carolina’s two casinos by the summer.

Despite limited gambling options in the state, Harrah’s Cherokee hosted the World Series of Poker Global Casino Championship for the last few years. Last year, Warren Sheaves took down the event winning $282,113 and a bracelet.