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Limited Hope For North Carolina Gambling Expansion In 2024

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While legal sports betting launched in North Carolina in 2024, legislators in the Tar Heel State might be hesitant to accept other forms of expanded gambling in the immediate future.

A push at the end of last year’s legislative session to expand casino gambling options seemingly ruffled some feathers in the state legislature, according to House Speaker Tim Moore.

“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 CBS17.

Some lawmakers are hopeful that the state will regulate and legalize video lottery terminals this session. It’s possible, however, that a majority of legislators would prefer to take a slower approach to expanding gambling in any forms, following the recent launch of legal sports betting.

Minimal online casino push

There hasn’t been much push in 2024 for expanded commercial casino gambling or online casino legalization. Rep. Jason Saine, who was critically important in the effort to legalize sports betting, wrote an opinion piece last year citing the potential benefits of legal casino apps.

Saine feels it’s silly to consider legalizing commercial casinos but not allow online casino gaming, which would be a larger revenue driver than in-person casino games. It’s unlikely, however, that online casino legalization occurs in North Carolina in 2024, especially if brick-and-mortar commercial casino growth isn’t a topic of discussion.

Several states, including Maryland, attempted to legalize online casinos in 2024 but fell short. Concerns about casino cannibalization and problem gambling often stall legislative attempts to legalize online casino gambling.

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