NBA big names press lawmakers to expand sports gambling across NC

Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry spent the day talking up the financial benefits of legalized gambling to state lawmakers. Opponents say it's a bad bet.

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Sloane Heffernan
, WRAL reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two former Charlotte Hornets players joined team president Fred Whitfield Tuesday to go door to door in pressing lawmakers for an expansion of legal sports gambling in North Carolina.

Muggsy Bogues and Dell Curry spent the day talking up the financial benefits of legalized gambling. Opponents say it's a bad bet.

Don Waddell, president and general manager of the Carolina Hurricanes, was also there to support the bill.

"Gambling happens everywhere," he said. "Legalize it. Get rid of the next-door neighbor bookies and make it safer. I think it’s a win-win for everybody."

In March, WRAL Investigates reported on a series of reports commissioned by the North Carolina Education Lottery to examine the revenue impact of gambling in North Carolina that found legalization could produce millions of dollars for the state.

Illegal gambling is a multibillion-dollar enterprise in the United States.

John Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council, says that kind of money would bring corruption – both of government and North Carolina's values.

He says his nonprofit has studied the impact of gambling for more than two decades, and research shows the more prevalent gambling is, the more citizens are going to gamble.

He says gambling leads to all types of problems, including addiction, bankruptcy and even domestic violence and suicide.​

Waddell said it was a great opportunity for the state to collect additional revenue, and PNC Arena could become a hub for placing bets and watching games.

Right now, sports gambling is allowed only at the Cherokee casinos in the western part of our state.

Waddell said he would like to see it taking place at PNC Arena in Raleigh, 365 days a year.

"The state is looking for revenue," he said. "Let’s face it, we all are."


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