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Over 30% Of Sports Bettors Experience Problem Gambling, NC Lawmaker Says

State Legislature Balks At Passing Online Betting Bill

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The state of North Carolina is still chewing on a sports betting bill, though its odds of passage appear unclear.

According to a report from wral.com, lawmakers in the North Carolina House voted against efforts to legalize online sportsbooks. The measures fell by a razor thin margin.

“A watered-down version of one bill, Senate Bill 38, gained preliminary approval by a single vote—but not before lawmakers stripped all college sports betting from the legislation,” the report said. “Meanwhile, the underlying bill, Senate Bill 688, was voted down […] The 120-member House voted 51-50 to approve Senate Bill 38. The House voted against Senate Bill 688 50-51 and then blocked an attempt to return it to the rules committee.”

The proposals are not officially dead for the 2022 legislative session, but the odds appear long. In addition to allowing online sportbooks, North Carolina pro sports teams could offer retail wagering. North Carolina already has a pair of tribal-run retail sportsbooks.

Opposition to online betting was bipartisan, according to a report from The Pulse. Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) said during discussion of the bill Wednesday that gambling on sports is highly addictive. North Carolina is home to about 10.4 million people.

Harrison, citing a study, said that 29% of American adults participate in at least one kind of sports betting, and among that 29% a whopping 31% experience problem gambling.

That’s an extraordinary figure. There are 258.3 million adults in the U.S., according to the 2020 census. If you do the math, that would be more than 23 million U.S. adults with some degree of problem sports gambling. The numbers will grow as the industry keeps expanding.

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