QUEEN CITY NEWS – It is no secret that sports clubs, leagues, and franchises want to get into an untapped market, and sports betting is one of the big frontiers that–at least in North Carolina–is largely unexplored.
Currently, people can only place their bets at two casinos in western North Carolina that are run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain is authorized to and plans on adding sports betting in the near future. And across the state, experts say things are likely to change.
“I think, in North Carolina, it is a bit of a fear of missing out,” said Max Bichsel, who is with Charlotte-based Gambling.com, which provides resources for those wanting to wager. They already have a site up, focusing on North Carolina betting, once it becomes legal.
But when it becomes legal it is a matter for the General Assembly. The State Senate passed the legislation. The State House version of the legislation has not yet been voted on.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has expressed support for the legislation, which would allow interactive sports gambling for up to 12 companies in the state.
A Queen City News/Emerson College poll found that 42% of North Carolinians think it sports gambling should be legal. 37% think it should not be legal. 22% were unsure on their opinion of sports gambling.
In a statement on the sports gambling legislation, a spokesperson for Catawba Two Kings Casino said that they are “planning to add an onsite sportsbook this spring at our temporary gaming venue. We are also monitoring the legislative process on online sports betting, with the hope that it will create new jobs and economic activity for North Carolinians, preserve the jobs of our current and future casino employees and also protect our capital investment in the casino.”
Bichsel said North Carolina has the potential to receive tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, with hundreds of millions of dollars of business related to sports gambling.