Gambling Legislation

Online gaming in North Carolina could stop before it starts

Some lawmakers threaten to veto a budget deal if expanding gambling moves forward

Efforts are underway by lawmakers in North Carolina to pass a state budget that calls for additional tax cuts. However, due to the introduction of legislation to introduce new forms of gambling in the state, including iGaming, the market may experience a delay before it commences.

Should the budget be approved, it could potentially reduce the current 4.75% flat tax rate to either below or closer to 3%. This cut in the state’s income tax rate is unlike any previously implemented as it has the potential to generate $1 billion in revenue, which can be channeled to finance upcoming tax cuts. It is, however, worth noting that the state budget, which will be utilized to fuel the next income tax cut, may also permit the growth of gambling in North Carolina, which would include casinos and video lottery games. North Carolina could increase its annual state revenue by up to $400 million by legalizing iGaming. This form of online casino gaming is already authorized in several states, including West Virginia, Nevada, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and Connecticut. The attempt could be for nothing in the face of a boycott by lawmakers.

As per the initial report, a handful of Republican lawmakers have revealed that they intend to oppose the budget and the proposed reduction in income tax owing to their opposition to gambling. The choice being made poses a double threat, as it could result in a decline in income tax rates and hinder North Carolina’s ability to compete with other states. Additionally, it has the potential to generate new revenue streams for numerous small businesses and stop the development of energy-related work in economically deprived rural regions of the state.

According to a research report, there exists a possibility of generating 1,500 to 3,000 employment opportunities per casino in the impoverished region of North Carolina amid ongoing budget discussions. Besides this, the casinos have the potential to generate local tax revenues of around $20 to $30 million for the establishments.

Gambling activities that take place within shopping malls and other entertainment outlets are believed to produce $100 million per location every year in revenue for state funds. Granting authorization to the state-sponsored lottery could result in an additional $500-plus in ongoing public revenue as local hotels, convenience stores, and bars are permitted to offer video gambling games.

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