North Carolina, Vermont Sign Mobile Sports Betting Into Law

The states become the 28th & 29th with legal mobile sports betting in the US. Both states are aiming for launch in January 2024.
North Carolina, Vermont Sign Mobile Sports Betting Into Law
By
June 15, 2023

Mobile sports betting is officially legal in North Carolina and Vermont after the governors of both states signed legislation authorizing the vertical in separate ceremonies on Wednesday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed HB 347 into law at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. At around the same time, Vermont Governor Phil Scott was signing H.127 into law in his state.

“Surrounding states here and across the country are already taking advantage [of mobile sports betting],” Cooper said in remarks prior to the signing in Charlotte, according to WCNC-TV. “In fact, today in Vermont, Governor Scott is signing similar legislation there.”

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According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), North Carolina and Vermont are the 28th and 29th US states with legal mobile sports betting. They join three other states — Kentucky, Florida, and Maine — with legal but not yet operational markets.

Vermont also becomes the 38th state with any form of legal sports betting.

“I first proposed Vermont legalize sports betting several years ago, and I’m happy the legislature has come to an agreement, as well,” Scott said in a statement. “We know many Vermonters already participate in the marketplace, and bringing it above board provides important resources and consumer protections. Vermont now joins many other states who have made this move.”

Up to a Dozen Licenses Possible in NC

North Carolina will officially launch mobile sports betting sometime between now and January 2024. That’s because an amendment to HB 347 gave the North Carolina Lottery Commission (NCLC) twelve months to promulgate rules for mobile wagering.

NCLC is authorized to issue up to 12 mobile sports betting licenses, but sports facilities can also open retail sportsbooks.

“We already know that North Carolina is the center of the college basketball universe,” Cooper said. “But in the last few decades, our state has become a prime location for professional sports. This legislation will help professional teams grow even more and thrive, and to attract more of them.”

North Carolina will tax mobile sports betting at 18% of gross gaming revenue. Operators will pay a $1 million licensing fee every five years.

“Let’s face it, sports wagering is already happening in our state,” Cooper said. “This legislation allows the State of North Carolina to regulate it and to put safeguards on it, as well as providing funding for helping people with problem gambling.”

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VT Opts for Revenue-Sharing Agreements

Meanwhile, in Vermont, H.127 designates the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) as the regulator and establishes minimum standards for sports betting. The DLL could issue at least two licenses to mobile operators, but not more than six.

Vermont took an unusual approach to taxing the vertical. Instead of directly taxing operators, H.127 instructs the DLL to negotiate revenue-sharing agreements with them. But the bill would require the state’s share to be at least 20%.

The bill Scott signed into law prohibits wagers on in-state collegiate teams but allows such wagers on tournament play, such as March Madness. Operators must submit a responsible gaming plan that includes information on posting responsible gaming materials, among other things, to the DLL annually.

Although H.127 does not specify a launch date, it will likely be January 1, 2024.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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