Since the decision by the Supreme Court to strike down a federal sports gambling ban in May, a number of states have taken action to regulate the practice.
In North Carolina, which is the base for three major-league sports franchises, the issue of sports betting has not so far attracted much attention, but that is likely to change over the coming months, as sports betting gains more coverage, thanks to both legislators and sports teams in the state.
In June, New Jersey became the first state to regulate sports betting, followed by Delaware in the same month, West Virginia and Mississippi in August, and Pennsylvania last week. Sports betting is also already legal in other parts of the US, including Las Vegas.
And while sports organizations have traditionally been opposed to sports betting, that attitude has begun to change. A number of sports teams have actively embraced or supported betting, including the Miami Dolphins and the New Jersey Devils, along with the new owner of the Carolina Panthers, David Tepper, who spoke about the issue at his first press conference:
You think about the fans and you want to keep the fans in the building. Eventually it’s going to hit North and South Carolina. It has to, from a revenue standpoint. You have issues with paying teachers and other things down here, and tax revenue, so it’s inevitable,”
The legislative path to legal sports betting in North Carolina is complicated, not least because there are many new members entering the state legislature following this month’s mid-term elections.
But there is support for the idea among lawmakers. Last year, Rep. John Hardister, the North Carolina House majority whip, co-sponsored a bill to regulate Fantasy Football in the state, and he is on record as saying that there is a willingness among political figures to move forward on the issue, not least because of the potential revenue that legal sports betting could generate.
For the time being though, there appears to be no concrete plans to bring forward sports betting legislation in the state, so any such regulation is unlikely to be in place until late in 2019.
Steven is a seasoned freelancer writer from Coventry in the UK. He specialises in writing about the gambling industry and aims to provide unbiased, trustworthy and high quality content to the public. Whilst away from his freelance writing work he enjoys watching the football and following the F1.