North Carolina Casino Bill Draft is Complete, Calls for One Company to Invest $1.5 Billion for Three Casinos

Most states are on a gambling legalization streak. They propose one gambling bill after another, some passing in the process. One of these states is North Carolina.

The Tar Heel State proposed a sports betting bill that has already passed, leading to its launch in early 2024. Just a few months before online sports betting comes to the state, North Carolina has drafted another bill for retail casinos this time.

According to a casino bill drafted by North Carolina, the state wants only one company to construct three casinos. The gambling company will spend $1.5 billion to build the three casinos.

Choosing Qualifying Counties for a Casino

It will take a while before the legislature can reveal the proposed casino bill language to the public. However, the gambling company that will build the three casinos must meet several requirements. Already Cordish Cos. Fit these requirements. In fact, the company has already asked for the rezoning of a piece of land in Rockingham County.

Cordish Cos. through NC Development Holdings has asked the officials to rezone almost 200 acres set for agricultural or residential purposes to commercial. Data shows that the Cordish Cos. is interested in the land near the casino in Danville, Virginia.

Rockingham is one of the counties that qualify for one of the proposed land-based casinos. Phil Berger, an advocate for gambling expansion in North Carolina, comes from Rockingham County. Meanwhile, the Cordish Cos. develops gaming, resorts, and other entertainment venues.

According to the casino bill draft, the other two counties that qualify to have a casino are Nash and Anson. The Lumbee Tribe casino could also be considered.

Ideally, these counties meet several criteria, including:

  • They are one of the 40 counties in the state with a depressed economy
  • Interstate 95 crosses through them, or they are border counties
  • Are on the east of Interstate 77
  • Have a population of 100,000 or less

North Carolina Legislature Looking for Additional Revenue

The North Carolina sports betting bill passed in June 2023. Like most bills, the sports bill sought to increase revenue for the state. But North Carolina is far from hitting its target.

This could explain why the state wants to expand casino gaming. Moreover, an analysis by Spectrum Gaming supports the move.

The firm analyzed the gaming market in March 2023, projecting that three casino resorts in the state would create over $1.6 billion in gross gaming revenue. With a tax rate of 35 percent, North Carolina could earn over $580 million in taxes yearly.

Spectrum Gaming also found that 30,000 Video Lottery Terminal machines could generate over $1.8 billion yearly. With a 32 percent tax, the state could earn over $600 million yearly. This means casinos and lottery terminals could produce around $1.2 billion in yearly taxes.

Yet, North Carolina will not need this money immediately. In fact, it has a $3.25 billion budget surplus.

According to the casino bill, the administration secretary will start receiving proposals from gaming companies from September 1, 2023. Qualifying companies must have ten years of experience in the commercial industry.


A sports enthusiast, Ryan helps cover sports betting news from around the country, highlighting some of the more interesting events going on in the USA.