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On March 11, 2024, North Carolina became the 30th state to legalize mobile sports betting. The process took about nine months, with Governor Roy Cooper (D) signing the mobile sports betting bill into law in June 2023. Gov. Cooper celebrated by placing a wager on the Carolina Hurricanes to win the Stanley Cup.

The bill legalized sports betting in the state for individuals over 21. The new law allows sports wagers to be placed in person or online through an interactive account. The operator of the interactive sports wagering will be responsible for ensuring the identity and age of the person placing the wager. The bill invests the proceeds in gambling addiction education and treatment programs, as well as various funds such as North Carolina Amateur Sports, 13 public universities, a major events fund, the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council, and the state’s General Fund. Bettors in North Carolina can wage on professional and collegiate sports.

According to NCSL, eight states passed bills legalizing sports betting in 2021, and three did in 2022. North Carolina may be the only one to legalize sports betting in 2024. However, many states are considering legalizing sports betting or amending existing sports betting rules through various legislative proposals. Additionally, while 30 states now allow sports betting, only twenty-seven allow sports betting on mobile devices.

Alabama May Not Legalize Sports Betting in 2024 After All

Alabama state lawmakers stripped sports betting from a gambling package that, if enacted, would have created an Alabama Lottery. Alabama is one of only a handful of states without a state lottery. The House approved legislation authorizing sports betting. However, the Senate amended the bill and passed it back to the House. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) recently indicated she “won’t sign just any bill” related to gambling. However, the legislation would start the constitutional amendment process, in which the governor has no part, though the governor would have to sign enabling legislation.

Georgia Sports Betting Bill Passes Senate

Georgia lawmakers introduced SB 386 in January 2024 related to sports betting legalization. The bill, endorsed by Lt. Gov. Burt Jones and Senate Minority Leader Gloria Butler, would allow online and retail sports betting in Georgia. The Senate passed the bill on February 1, 2024. The bill would circumvent a constitutional amendment referendum by treating sports gambling like a lottery game, which requires a simple majority vote in the General Assembly rather than a two-thirds majority and voter approval in November. The measure comes on the heels of a 2023 opinion from former Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Harold Melton that legal sports betting would not require a statewide ballot referendum as long as the state incorporated betting into the lottery system.

Bills Legalizing Online Sports Betting Introduced in Mississippi

Mississippi state lawmakers introduced various legislative proposals legalizing online sports betting in 2024. Notably, the House passed HB 774 in early February. The bill would legalize and regulate online sports pools and race books. The bill would require platforms operating online sports pools or race books to obtain a manufacturer’s and distributor’s license, and licensed gaming establishments could contract with only one platform for operating online betting. Additionally, the bill would prohibit those under 21 from online betting.

Pennsylvania Lawmaker Proposes Legislation Limiting Payment Options for Online Gambling

On March 8, 2024, State Senator Wayne Fontana (D) introduced legislation that would ban credit card usage for online casino games, sports betting and fantasy games, and the PA iLottery. In the co-sponsor memo, Sen. Fontana notes that the expansion of online gaming and sports wagering has increased access to gambling, leading to a rise in the number of Pennsylvanians developing gambling disorders. Over 36% of online gaming participants in Pennsylvania reported at least one gambling problem, as per the 2022 Online Gaming Report. According to Sen. Fontana, the Commonwealth reported nearly $5.7 billion in gaming revenue last year—a record high. The co-sponsor memo notes that several states, including Iowa, Tennessee, and Massachusetts, prohibit using credit cards for online gaming and sports betting.

From The Experts

Expert insights from the authors at Duane Morris Government Strategies.


Ryan Stevens

As lawmakers navigate this intricate terrain, it’s imperative to strike a balance that fosters competition, bolsters revenue streams, and safeguards the interests of both operators and consumers.

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