In the southern American state of North Carolina and legislators reportedly failed to pass a measure late last night that would have legalized retail and online sportsbetting due to concerns that the move could lead to increased instances of gambling addiction.
According to a report from the Associated Press news service and the North Carolina House Representatives voted by a 51-to-50 margin to throw out legislation that would have allowed punters over the age of 21 to place bets on professional sporting events and out-of-state horse races. This proposition had purportedly been prefaced by the narrow passage of a measure that laid out the specific structure of how sportsbetting in ‘The Tarheel State’ was to be conducted.
Home to almost 10.6 million people, North Carolina was reportedly hoping to become the 32nd American jurisdiction to have legalized some form of sportsbetting in the wake of the 2018 revocation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Proponents purportedly argued that residents are already placing illicit bets using offshore websites or local bookmakers and that it would be better to inaugurate a legal scene capable of being tightly controlled and taxed.
However, an unusual coalition of social conservatives and liberal Democrats reportedly opposed the plan to bring legalized sportsbetting to North Carolina over their contention that doing so could lead to a rise in problem gambling. Several prominent critics even purportedly claimed that allowing residents to place legal sports wagers would create gambling addicts and lead to increases in embezzlement, theft and the number of those deep in debt.
North Carolina Representative Jason Saine (pictured) reportedly supported the plan to bring legalized sportsbetting to North Carolina and he told the news service that the campaign ‘is not totally dead’ but that such a prospect is running out of time with the current legislative session due to expire late next week. The Republican lawmaker purportedly moreover highlighted the fact that the neighboring states of Virginia and Tennessee have recently legalized sports wagering while the federally-recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians premiered sportsbooks within its local Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel venues last year.
Saine reportedly told the Associated Press…
“It could resurface depending on what happens. If not, sports wagering is going to remain an issue for the state of North Carolina because states around us are doing it.”
North Carolina is the ninth-largest American state by population and is reportedly home to the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL), the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC. The failed legislation would have purportedly authorized the issuance of up to twelve sportsbetting licenses while guaranteeing $2 million every year for a range of local problem gambling programs.