Video game machine legalization could be considered in North Carolina

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Efforts to sanction and regulate video gambling machines in North Carolina could resurface during the upcoming legislative season. However the authorization of new casinos looks unlikely.

The sanctioning of four new casinos and legalization of video gambling machines was first considered last year as lawmakers attempted to insert legislation into the 2023 budget. Ultimately this plan failed and the bill was passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives without this provision.

Now, as reported by the Associated Press, House Speaker Tim Moore reportedly said there’s been more discussion about reviving legislation for video lottery terminals. He added that more feel inclined to authorize video machines which he likened to the modernization of scratch off lottery games.

Despite optimism, Senate leader Phil Berger, an advocate of creating casinos that would bring jobs and revenues to rural areas, doesn’t believe that there will be enough time for changes to take place as sessions in even-numbered years historically only last two to three months.

Berger also added that he has no plans to pursue casino legislation in the session that begins in late April.

Currently, the Tar Heel State is home to three tribal casinos. Two are run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and operated by Caesars Entertainment while the third is run by the Catawba Nation.

Any proposed legislation will likely be met by opposition from Christian conservatives and liberal lawmakers that warn against the gambling addiction that additional games could cause.

Sports betting on the horizon

An area where progress has been made is legalized sports betting which is set to begin on March 11. Currently eight sportsbooks, including bet365, ESPN Bet and FanDuel, have submitted applications to the North Carolina State Lottery Commission
As part of the legislation sportsbooks are required to partner with a professional sports group. Seven of the eight sportsbooks have already agreed partnerships with organizations like the PGA Tour, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The latest sportsbook to agree a partnership was DraftKings who have teamed up with NASCAR.