Gambling Legislation

North Carolina residents try to block casino legislation

North Carolina residents try to block casino legislation

State residents opposed to the idea of more casinos are speaking up

Republican House Speaker Tim Moore of North Carolina said on Tuesday that GOP leaders are still working to decide if a proposal to open up to four new casinos in the state has enough support to move forward.

House Republicans convened for over three hours to discuss the casino proposal and other legislative business. GOP lawmakers will hold voting sessions to hopefully finalize the state budget next week. “We don’t have anything to report back after the caucus, but probably will in the next couple of days,” said Moore.

GOP leaders have described the proposal as a plan to construct three casinos in Rockingham, Nash, and Anson counties, with another to be operated by the Lumbee Tribe. However, Moore said changes to the initial concept have been debated behind closed doors. The proposal could be included in next week’s budget negotiations or as a standalone bill.

Opponents of the proposal traveled from Rockingham and Nash counties to Tuesday’s GOP caucus meeting to speak out against the plan and urge lawmakers to reject it.

Speakers included Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page, who said residents should have their voices heard through a referendum before lawmakers move ahead. “That makes me think of ‘we the people,'” he said. “When I think of ‘we the people’ in our Constitution, it lets me know who I work for. I work for the people, our elected officials work for the people, and we should never forget that.”

Other Republicans, such as Moore and Randolph County Rep. Neal Jackson, have voiced their opposition to the GOP proposal, posting on X (formerly Twitter) that casinos will place a more considerable burden on law enforcement and don’t align with family values.

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