Raleigh, N.C. — A bill that would regulate so-called "beach bingo" is headed for the desk of Gov. Pat McCrory after gaining final House approval Monday night.
"Beach bingo," for-profit bingo parlors with prizes capped at $10, are currently not regulated by the state. Games run by nonprofits, on the other hand, require a $200 annual license and are governed by strict rules on jackpots and game frequency.
Bill supporters say the for-profit outlets are cropping up throughout the state, and the state has no way of tracking them or making sure they're abiding by the state law that allows them to operate.
Under House Bill 292, beach bingo operators would be required to obtain a $300 annual license from the State Bureau of Investigation and would be subject to SBI inspection. Operating a parlor without a license or submitting false information on the application would be a misdemeanor.
The new law would take effect Oct. 1.
House lawmakers passed the measure 106-7 in May 2015, but the Senate had not taken up the bill until last week. The House voted Monday night without debate to agree to the Senate's change to the measure – putting the SBI in charge of regulation rather than the state Department of Public Safety – and send it to McCrory for his signature.