Locals debate legalizing sports betting in North Carolina

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A Supreme Court ruling is giving states the go-ahead to legalize sports betting.

Currently, sports betting is not legal in North Carolina.

An NCAA faculty advisor at ECU says he is worried that any changes to the sports gambling laws in the state could hurt student-athletes, but a local sports bar owner says sports-betting would be good for business.

With an ice cold beer in hand, customers inside Tie Breakers Sports Bar can catch almost any game on one of the giant TV's lining the walls.

After the SCOTUS ruling, Brayom Anderson, the bar's owner, says he hopes North Carolina changes their gambling law so his customers can be more invested in the games.

"It's obviously a good thing, it's just like fantasy football," he tells WITN.

Others worry about how sports betting would affect the integrity of the game, especially when it comes to student-athletes.

"I would hope the state of North Carolina would never authorize gambling on college students that are here to get an education, they are not here to support some gambling of fans," says Cal Christian, ECU's NCAA faculty representative.

ECU's men's head basketball coach, Joe Dooley, also commented on the recent Supreme Court ruling.

He says he believes that it will be a state by state legislative issue and doesn't see it impacting his role as a head coach.

State Senator Don Davis (D-District 5) says he expects this to be a topic of conversation down the road.

"I share the concerns of the NFL as well as the NCAA and those concerns are making sure efforts are made to protect the integrity of the sport as well as providing fans with confidence," he says.

Anderson says this would help local businesses and is not much different from the state-run lottery.

"Our state should pass it, they got their hands in it and they should allow everyone else to get their hands in it," explains the bar owner.

Christian says there are still a lot of unanswered questions about what might happen going forward, but for now, sports betting remains illegal in our state.