Plenty of states have embraced legalized sports betting in the four-plus years since the Supreme Court opened the floodgates. Plenty have not.
North Carolina remains in the “not” category, for now. As explained by Bill King of Sports Business Journal, an effort to make sports betting a reality in Raleigh collapsed this week.
It looked to be on track to succeed; however, it fell apart on Wednesday night, after what King describes as an “unexpectedly contentious debate.” And so a safe margin of votes in the North Carolina House of Representatives (per King, five or six) became zero. He writes that there’s a chance the bill will be resurrected, if North Carolina holds a special legislative session later this year.
Opponents cited, via King, the potential unconstitutionality of the bill as written, whether it would provide as much revenue as promised for the state’s HBCUs, the risks of wagering on college sports, and the “onslaught” of advertising that other states have experienced. (Here’s a proposed deal: No sportsbook ads in return for no political ads.)
States that fail to get with the times will be missing out on a major revenue opportunity, especially since residents in bordering communities will slide to where they can bet legally. But the internal dynamics of several states — states that house one or more NFL teams — have made it difficult if not to date impossible to convert years of illegal gambling that escapes the reach of the politicians and corporations into a very large, legal pie from which many mouths are handsomely fed.
And so the illegal gambling will continue in those states, with the money going not to the government but to the local equivalent of the Gambinos.