North Carolina has succeeded in legalizing sports betting but failed to legalize casino gaming in 2023. Despite the setback, advocates for casino resorts are not giving up on pushing for its legalization, while opponents fear that the game might be rigged.
The state recently announced plans to allocate funding for major infrastructural improvements in several counties, including Anson, Nash, and Rockingham. Anson is set to receive $6 million for wastewater projects, Nash will receive $17 million, and Rockingham will receive a whopping $54.5 million for infrastructural upgrades. This money is part of the $2 billion North Carolina plans to allocate to infrastructure projects across the state.
However, opponents of the expansion of gambling are uneasy about these infrastructural improvements, believing that they are a setup for the launch of Las Vegas-style resorts, as they will facilitate the construction of such venues. They pointed out that last year’s legislation sought approval for casino resorts in these exact counties and expressed concern that Sen. Phil Berger plans to reintroduce the measure in 2024.
While the majority of voters in North Carolina oppose the further expansion of the state’s gambling industry, Berger believes that casino resorts are not just about gaming but about nurturing the economic growth of rural areas as a whole.
Despite this, the government insists that there is no correlation between the proposed improvements and local leaders’ support for casino resorts. They claim that the infrastructural investments are something they have been planning for years. However, Anson County Manager Leonard Sossamon confirmed that the infrastructure improvements would benefit a potential casino resort – a project that would be impossible at the moment.
In other news, North Carolina recently approved the second batch of sports betting rules.
Overall, North Carolina’s 2023 is marked by the successful legalization of sports betting and ongoing debates over the legalization of casino gaming, as well as the allocation of significant funding for infrastructural improvements across the state.