North Carolina Not Likely To Regulate Video Lottery Terminals In 2024

North Carolina has jumped into new gambling realms in the last year.

However, it won’t be making any drastic moves in 2024.

With already legalizing sports betting and the North Carolina online lottery adding digital instants, state legislators don’t look to be on board to expand gambling options this year.

This will impact not only casino gambling in the state, but also the regulation of video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Unregulated VLTs are a concern in North Carolina, but lawmakers seem unable to focus on that issue without trying to add in casino expansion.

Some North Carolina lawmakers want regulated VLTs

Heading into the 2024 legislative session, some NC lawmakers were hopeful to get VLTs regulated in the state.

Though the machines are banned in NC, some businesses have been operating them unregulated.

Select lawmakers wanted to make North Carolina the 11th state in the US to legalize and regulate the machines. That would allow it to earn tax revenue from them.

During the 2023-24 session, Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan) attempted similar legislation. He estimated that the state had about 100,000 illegal VLTs in operation. Warren wanted to see 40% of the revenue taxed.

Non-partisan estimates forecast that legalizing VLTs could generate about $1 billion in annual revenue for North Carolina.

Casino legislation holding up progress for video lottery terminals

Warren’s efforts to legalize VLTs didn’t have enough support, as lawmakers wanted to add in more gambling expansion.

Casino development has stood in the way of the VLT legislation moving forward since.

House Speaker Tim Moore confirmed as much with CBS 17:

“I do think that the conversation last year as it related to casinos has put a shadow over the discussion about updates to the lottery with VLTs and so forth.”

During last year’s session, a push was made to include four brick-and-mortar casinos in the state as part of the budget. That soured many lawmakers from wanting to expand on their current gambling legislation. Currently, NC features three tribal casinos.

In the last year, North Carolina has legalized sports betting. In November, the North Carolina Lottery launched digital instant games.

Because of that, some lawmakers want to hit the brakes and slow down further gambling expansion.


Photo by WHYFRAME via Shutterstock

About the Author

Drew Ellis

Drew Ellis

Lead Writer
A member of Catena Media since 2020, Drew Ellis is the Lead Writer at PlayiLottery, where he handles coverage of the online and retail lottery industry in the US. He previously spearheaded news content at PlayMichigan, where he covered one of the most prominent online lottery industries in the US — among the many other aspects of Michigan's sprawling iGaming market. You can email him at [email protected].
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