North Carolina’s efforts to establish a regulated online sports betting market suffered a huge setback yesterday as the House rejected one of two companion bills that would have legalized mobile sportsbooks.
The bill was rejected by a vote of 51-50
Senate Bill 38 and Senate Bill 688 were approved on Tuesday by a House Committee. However, representatives in the House approved SB 38 by just a single vote (51-50) after it was heavily amended to remove wagering on college sports from the legislation.
Meanwhile, SB688 was narrowly defeated by a vote of 51-50 leaving the hopes of establishing a regulated market during this legislative session hanging in the balance. The House also blocked an attempt to return the bill the rules committee.
SB 38 will face a second vote for final approval, but the legislation relies heavily on the approval of SB 688.
Both bills faced heavy criticism in the House with members from both parties speaking out against the legislation with some even going so far as to state that it was morally wrong.
It was hoped that the removal of college sports betting may have swung the vote in favor of the bill, but that was not the case. Rep. Jason Saine, a supporter of the bill, stated that it was unclear what would happen next but that he would ask that SB 38 be returned to committee to perhaps strip out any wording that makes the bill reliant on SB 688.
He told local press:
“We may end up with a bill before the end of session that will serve for sports betting. Don’t know yet.”