A North Carolina online sportsbook broke from other industry players by endorsing a federal bill funding gambling addiction efforts. Underdog Sports supported the Gambling Addiction Recovery Investment and Treatment (GRIT) Act after the bill drew criticism.
The GRIT Act would use half the federal sports betting tax, 0.25% of total bets, on addiction prevention and treatment. Underdog Sports praised the Act as the lone source of federal funds for responsible gambling. Underdog Sports starts in North Carolina when betting launches March 11th.
With North Carolina’s online sports betting launch on March 11th, residents eagerly await placing their first wagers. Sportsbook operators try enticing customers with generous North Carolina sports betting promos like risk-free bets, deposit matches, and free bets. For example, DraftKings offers a bet $5, get $200 promotion for signing up early. These North Carolina sports betting promos help kickstart the market while allowing operators to acquire customers. Even as sportsbooks try to outdo each other, the state ensures protections like the Problem Gambling Program Fund taxing operators. This voltage between intense competition and responsible gambling oversight characterizes the promising but complex new frontier of North Carolina sports betting.
Industry Debates Federal Problem Gambling Funding
The gaming advocacy group American Gaming Association criticized the GRIT Act. It fails to address illegal offshore betting lacking taxes and protections, said Chris Cylke. However, the National Council on Problem Gambling stated no federal agency handles addiction, and no funds go toward treatment or research.
Some object that total bet taxes fund the act. Sporttrade CEO Alex Kane agreed on supporting responsible gambling. But he argued on X the structure should not tax total bets, or “handle.”
Underdog Sports still backed the Act to federally oversee problem gambling efforts.
Possible North Carolina Funds from the Act
North Carolina’s share of funds under the Act remains unclear. But the picture is forming.
The Act would give half the federal sports betting tax to responsible gambling. Of that money, 75% goes to state health departments. The rest funds research grants.
Federal Tax Income Numbers Hard To Find
National Council on Problem Gambling Communications Director Cait Huble said FY23 sports betting tax data is unavailable. She estimates FY22 revenue near $274 million. With 2023 state launches, FY23 should increase.
Excise tax expert Adam Hoffer of the Tax Foundation disagrees. He puts FY23 at $260 million.
Of a hypothetical $260 million, the Act would allot $130 million to problem gambling. That’s $97.5 million for states and $32.5 million for research. States do not simply split the $97.5 million fifty ways. Funds consider need, explained Huble.
The CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index displays North Carolina as low to moderately vulnerable. So the state likely fits in the middle for funding.
Debating The Ultimate Approach in North Carolina
The GRIT Act opened debate on addressing problem gambling federally. Many parties have stakes in the outcome, though supporting responsible gambling seems morally right.
Amid arguments over the Act, North Carolinians can rely on state sports betting taxes. Online revenue raises $2 million yearly for addiction prevention and treatment.