Slight majority of North Carolinians support legalizing sports gambling, ECU study finds

Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 6:40 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - A bill that would legalize sports betting is making its way through the North Carolina General Assembly and According to a poll conducted by the East Carolina University Center for Research, 54% of North Carolinians approve of sports gambling, while 46% area against it.

ECU professor, Dr. Peter Francia, says the poll is a close call because of the older population.

“When you look at North Carolina adults age 18 through 44, support for legalized gambling is above 70%,” Francia said. “When you look at those 45 and older, support drops to 43%.”

A bill to legalize sports gambling is being reviewed in the state senate. Sen. Jim Perry, R-Lenoir, is a sponsor of the bill. He says he’s fully aware it’s controversial.

“It’s a tough topic,” Perry said. “Growing up where I grew up, where I was raised, my mother does not like this legislation.”

Perry believes the pros outweigh the cons. If sports gambling is legalized, he estimates it’ll generate more than $40 million dollars in taxable revenue for the state.

“My hope is that this becomes an additional revenue source that we could provide to counties to help build schools instead of raising property taxes,” Perry said.

Senator Perry expects the bill to pass in the state senate no later than October.

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