Gambling Legislation

Lobbyists starting push for iGaming in North Carolina

North Carolina hasn’t even yet approved land-based gambling expansion, but iGaming is on the table

The question that iGaming lobbyists have for state lawmakers in North Carolina is simple. Since online sports betting and lottery games are now legal, why shouldn’t state residents be able to play online casino games? Advocates hope to include the issue in a late-session proposal that would legalize retail casinos and video lottery terminals.

Sports Betting Alliance vice president Scott Ward said, “It’s a natural fit and should be included in the conversation,” The Sports Betting Alliance includes online gaming providers DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, and Fanatics, which operate online sportsbooks and offer casino gaming in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia.

Lawmakers are considering four additional casinos in rural North Carolina during discussions to pass its overdue budget and legalize statewide video lottery terminals. Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, says online casino gaming will also be discussed.

House Speaker Tim Moore said again on Thursday that House Republicans have yet to caucus on the casino issue. “Digital gaming is, you say, the way of the future, I’d say the way of today,” said Moore.

Online sports betting will launch next year in North Carolina, with the sale of digital lottery games set to launch from the North Carolina Lottery Commission by November 15.

Ward said about iCasinos, “If you’re going to be more gaming legislation, it makes sense to include this, especially if lawmakers are looking for additional revenue. This is where the consumer is now.” Ward also said iGaming would start generating instant revenue of up to $300 million for the state, unlike retail casinos and lottery terminals that have yet to be built.

The lottery commission currently sells draw games online and projects that digital instant games will generate over $415 million in revenue within five years.

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