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Support for Commercial Casinos in North Carolina is withering among GOP leaders

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Tim Moore North Carolina pic

In North Carolina, they had a legislative session began on April 24. It’s set to run until the end of July. Tim Moore is the House Speaker in NC and initially supported Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger. There was a push to add a casino amendment to the state’s 2023-24 budget last fall. However, Moore says these discussions have not ended on the right note. It could lead to further complications in the future. 

Recently, the House considered adding video lottery terminals to restaurants and bars in North Carolina. Tim Moore noted there are “hard feelings” about how Mr. Berger handled trying to get casinos legalized. He notes that it could lessen the support for gaming in the state. That would not be ideal. Moore had this to say.

I think the conversation last year as it related to casinos could overshadow the discussion about updates to the lottery with VLTs,” – Tim Moore

Why was there pushback for Berger’s casino bill?

Phil Berger’s casino bill wants to create gaming licenses in Rockingham, Anson, and Nash counties. However, Tim Moore rescinded his support. He was receiving pushback from his republican colleagues. Moore could no longer support Berger if he wanted to keep the peace within his party. Republicans were not thrilled that Berger essentially struck a backroom deal with a casino company based in Maryland. 

Lawmakers in the house wanted more transparency if considerable changes like casino 

expansion were to happen. Phil Berger’s casino bill would have given each of the three casinos opportunities to the Cordish Companies. They operate Live!-branded casinos in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Berger claims that casino expansion would generate regional economic activity and keep money from flowing into Virginia. Due to the backlash he’s received from his supporters, Phil Berger is ending his casino dreams in North Carolina. As a powerful Senate leader, he refuses to pass any casino legislature that would allow the House to initiate the process.

Tim Moore could be moving on from the House

In the 2024 election, Tim Moore is running for Congres in North Carolina’s newly drawn 14th District. He’ll move on from the House if the elections go in his favor this fall. His opponent is Democrat Pamela Genant. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Mr. Moore and he’s the heavy favorite. We’ll have to wait until the fall to see what happes.