Proposals for New Casinos and Legalizing Video Gambling Machines Gaining Traction in North Carolina

الاربعاء 26/07/2023
In a move that could significantly impact North Carolina's gaming landscape, top lawmakers are currently discussing proposals to authorize the establishment of up to four new casinos in the state and the legalization of video gambling machines. House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger revealed these ideas to reporters, emphasizing that they have not yet reached the formal legislation stage for voting.

Exploring New Casino Opportunities

The potential for four new casinos, along with video gambling machines, is generating considerable interest among legislators. The discussions are not only aimed at boosting the state's revenue but also preventing the loss of funds to neighboring states, like Virginia, which have already opened non-tribal casinos. Lawmakers fear this could lead to a loss of revenue for North Carolina's state and local governments.

Proposals are centered around the creation of "entertainment districts" that encompass hotels, restaurants, as well as residential and commercial development in Anson, Nash, and Rockingham counties. Additionally, there are discussions about allowing the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to operate a casino in eastern North Carolina, which they haven't been able to do due to the lack of complete federal tribal recognition. However, with the possibility of state licensing, this opportunity could become a reality.

The Economic Impact

The potential economic benefits of new casinos and video gambling machines are a major driving force behind the discussions. A study by a gambling research group estimated that the commercial casinos in Nash, Anson, and Rockingham counties could generate nearly $1.7 billion in gross wagering revenue annually, leading to significant tax contributions. Moreover, the development of these casinos would create a substantial number of jobs, further boosting the economy.

Video Gambling Machines and Regulation

In addition to the casino proposals, the legalization of video gambling machines statewide is also under consideration. A House bill that received a hearing in May paves the way for the state Lottery Commission to regulate these machines, allowing their operation in places with alcohol beverage licenses. The state would receive a share of net machine revenues, ensuring a regulated and controlled environment for video gambling. Efforts to address illegal video gambling machines, present for decades in sweepstakes parlors, would also be reinforced.

The Road Ahead

North Carolina has already taken significant strides in expanding its legalized gambling offerings this year, with the passage of a law authorizing betting on sports and horse racing across the state. The implementation of sports betting is expected to begin in the first half of 2024.

While there was opposition to sports betting from a coalition of social conservatives and liberal lawmakers, support for the casino and video gambling proposals seems to be growing. Legislators from regions that stand to benefit economically from these ventures have shown strong support, viewing them as potential catalysts for regional economic growth.

However, the road to finalizing these proposals remains uncertain. The completion of a two-year state budget, which was supposed to be enacted by July 1, is a crucial prerequisite for further progress. Delays in budget approvals mean that votes on any outstanding legislation, including the gambling proposals, are unlikely to take place until at least early August.


The potential authorization of new casinos and the legalization of video gambling machines in North Carolina could mark a significant turning point for the state's gaming industry. While lawmakers continue to engage in discussions, the economic benefits, job creation, and regulated gaming environment are clear factors driving support for these proposals. As the budget impasse is resolved, North Carolina may witness a new era of gaming that could shape its economic landscape for years to come.

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