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North Carolina Casino Expansion Faces Legislative Impasse Amid Online Sports Betting Boom

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Staff member
Jan 17, 2008
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North Carolina’s fledgling online Sports Betting market is off to a robust start, but the prospect of expanding
legalized gaming further this year appears increasingly unlikely. Discussions to extend casino gambling in the
state have hit a snag, with House Speaker Tim Moore indicating that last year’s legislative deadlock may impede any progress in 2024.

Legislative Stalemate Hinders Casino Expansion

In 2023, efforts to legalize commercial casino gambling, including proposals to install video lottery terminals (VLTs)
in various locations such as restaurants and bars, faced significant opposition from members of the Republican party.
This opposition has cast a shadow over current discussions about gaming expansion. Moore highlighted that gaming
is the primary issue delaying the state’s budget.

“I do think that the conversation last year as it related to casinos has put a shadow over the discussion about updates
to the lottery with VLTs and so forth,” Moore told CBS 17.

Moore initially supported Senate President pro tempore Phil Berger’s attempt to add a casino amendment to the state’s
2023-25 budget bill. Berger’s proposal aimed to create gaming licenses for multiple counties and grant casino licenses to
The Cordish Companies. Berger argued that these casinos would retain legal gambling revenue within North Carolina, preventing
it from flowing into neighboring states like Virginia. Estimates suggested that legalizing VLTs could generate about
$1 billion in annual revenue for the state.

Despite public support for casinos, House Republicans were divided, with concerns about the discussions happening
behind closed doors without public input. As a result, Moore withdrew his support for the casino bill, and Berger
acknowledged in February that he would not pursue casino legislation this year, leaving the decision to the House.