(WGHP) — A sports betting bill that passed the House in March will be discussed in the state Senate Tuesday.

While it won’t go for a vote before the Senate this week, the clock is ticking. If some version of the bill is passed to legal sports betting in North Carolina, it would go into effect in January of next year. 

Sports betting is legal in some form in 36 states, including our neighbors in Virginia and Tennessee where many North Carolinians are going to gamble.   

If passed, people could start betting at sports at places like Bank of America stadium or Charlotte Motor Speedway, and they could do it online at one of many popular online betting sites.  

“I do believe that people are already gambling online,” said State Senator Michael Garrett, of Greensboro. He says there are benefits and concerns to legalizing sports betting, which would entail an 18 percent privilege tax attached to gross gambling revenue.   

“There’s tax revenue that the state is missing out on because people are doing it illegal ways, so there are no tax implications,” he said. 

One of the benefactors of the tax revenue would be North Carolina higher education since 10 to 13 lesser-funded athletic programs would receive $300,000, including Winston-Salem State University, UNC-Greensboro and North Carolina A&T University.   

“I think it would be beneficial to my school and other schools, but what we have to be careful with is if the money we receive from the state crowds out the spending the university is already doing in athletics,” Professor Johnny Ducking said.  

Professor Ducking would like to see some strong regulation language in the bill, and so does Senator Garrett. 

“You could put a provision, and I would be in favor of it, that this revenue cannot supplant other revenue,” Garrett said. 

He says concerns like Ducking’s highlight the need for more debate in the state senate this week.   

Another issue is the current bill allocates $2 million in counseling services to combat gambling addiction, but that still concerns many in the Triad.  

“Gambling is addictive, and I think it was outlawed for a reason,” said James Draper, of Greensboro.  

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“The only thing I would be concerned about is the gambling addiction. I they do pass the law, how many people are going to spend unnecessary money they don’t need to spend on betting?” asked Tori Duley, of High Point.  

Garrett says it will be discussed.   

“We are making a lot of promises to these universities and to mental health counseling services through DHHS, and I want to make sure those revenues are actually there so we can provide those services, and we can keep those services,” he said.