Gambling Legislation

North Carolina facing new trouble with casino legislation

North Carolina facing new trouble with casino legislation

Some lawmakers believe there’s not enough legislative support to keep the initiative alive

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore confirmed that the contentious proposal to open four new casinos in the state failed to gain enough support to be added to the upcoming state budget vote.

In the email sent Wednesday night to the House Republican Caucus, Moore disclosed that Republicans didn’t have enough votes to gain a majority of the 120-member House, saying “there are not 61 Republicans willing to vote for the budget if it includes gaming.” The email was confirmed to the News & Observer by Moore spokesperson Demi Dowdy.

Republican legislators are expected to vote on the final state budget next week, but Moore says they should anticipate another caucus meeting “about the budget without gaming” next week.

When asked if Moore was suggesting that the casino proposal was a dead issue in his email, even as a standalone bill, Dowdy said that discussions are still ongoing in the House GOP caucus regarding casinos.

After state legislators sent a bill to Gov. Roy Cooper in June to legalize sports betting, GOP leaders first indicated that they might help the state compete with neighboring Virginia by backing legislation to add multiple casinos.

The proposal had substantial opposition from residents in counties where the new casinos were targeted, with a group of residents from Rockingham and Nash counties traveling to Raleigh last week to encourage Republican lawmakers to abandon the plan.

Earlier on Thursday, the proposal to include casinos in the state budget drew strong opposition from the conservative political conference CPAC and Donald Trump Jr., who called the action to approve casinos “outrageous.”

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