- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 27, 2019

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians could offer sports and horse betting at its western North Carolina casinos in legislation that appears ready to advance in the state Senate.

Tribal leaders back the gambling expansion considered on Wednesday by the Senate Commerce Committee. The sports betting option surfaced as the U.S. Supreme Court last year struck down a federal law that made most sports gambling illegal.

State law already lets the Eastern Band offer live poker, slot machines and video-style games on tribal lands. The bill would allow pro and college sports wagering, as well as off-track betting.

Bill sponsor Sen. Jim Davis says the bill could result in $14 million in additional annual tribal revenue and $1 million for state coffers.

A committee vote could come next week.

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