As North Carolina delves deeper into sports betting legislation, there’s a noticeable shift towards welcoming non-tribal casinos among the state’s residents.
North Carolinians Show Support for Non-Tribal Casinos
A recent Meredith College poll indicates a majority of North Carolina voters are in favor of legalizing non-tribal casinos, adding to the state’s existing three tribal casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and Catawba Two Kings. This interest suggests a growing acceptance of various forms of gambling within the state.
The February 2024 Meredith Poll highlighted that 54% of participants support the idea of casinos on non-tribal land, with opposition standing at 35%. Support spans across most demographic groups, with the exception of those who identify as highly conservative.
David McLennan, Director of the Meredith Poll, commented, “With the state already embracing the lottery and online sports wagering, and with neighboring states hosting casinos, North Carolinians seem to be growing more accustomed to gambling. The notion of expanding casino gambling now appears less controversial than it might have two decades ago.”
When asked about their stance on legislation allowing casino operations, the responses from North Carolinians were as follows:
- 24% strongly support
- 33% somewhat support
- 16% somewhat oppose
- 19% strongly oppose
- 9% unsure
Challenges in Legalizing Non-Tribal Casinos
Despite the public’s support, attempts by North Carolina lawmakers to authorize non-tribal casinos have not been successful. Following the legalization of online sports betting and retail betting at professional sports venues by Gov. Roy Cooper in June, proposals for online casinos began to surface.
Sen. President Phil Berger, in partnership with The Cordish Companies, proposed the construction of up to four commercial casino resorts in Anson, Nash, and Rockingham counties, envisioning developments that would include hotels, restaurants, and shopping amenities. However, opposition from several House Republicans and a withdrawal of support from House Speaker Tim Moore led to the proposal’s exclusion from the state budget.
As discussions on legalizing casinos in North Carolina persist, the supportive public sentiment revealed in polls like Meredith’s may significantly influence future legislative decisions, shaping the state’s gambling landscape.