- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 3, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gambling operations run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in western North Carolina could soon let patrons bet on pro and college sporting events and off-track horse racing should legislation clearing a state Senate committee becomes law.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted on Wednesday for the measure, which now heads to another Senate panel.

The Eastern Band is seeking the new options following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year striking down a federal law that made most sports gambling illegal. Current law already lets the tribe offer live poker, slot machines and video-style games on tribal lands. The additional gambling could bring another $1 million annually to state government.

The measure cleared the committee despite opposition from conservative Christian groups against the expansion of any gambling.

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