North Carolina will launch online sports betting on 11 March 2024, with retail wagering to follow shortly afterwards.
Today (24 January), the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved the launch date.
Players can begin to register for accounts on 1 March 2024. They can also begin to fund their accounts from this date.
If all goes to plan, North Carolina’s online sports betting market will be up and running in time for March Madness – the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s (NCAA) yearly college basketball tournament and a crucial time for sports betting.
Speculation ramped up over North Carolina’s go-live date earlier this month, when the Commission set 26 January as the deadline for operators to submit their proposed internal controls. Those hoping to operate in North Carolina must receive approval for their internal controls.
Start of the journey for sports betting in NC
The North Carolina State Lottery Commission is currently overseeing the licensing process. Chair Ripley Rand previously said the launch date will mainly hinge on how long the licence application process takes.
The Commission kicked off the licensing process in December, when it approved applications for sports betting licensure. This permitted online sports betting operators and associated bodies to begin applying for licences.
The Commission has 60 days to approve licence applications, while hopeful operators have ten days to make any suggested changes.
Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina, signed sports betting into law on 14 June last year.
House Bill 347 was voted through the state senate on 1 June, and voted through the state house one week later. It was first introduced in March and presented in its final form to Governor Cooper on 9 June.
Stipulations included bets being allowed across college sports, esports and other sports matches authorised by the Commission. Tax will be set at 18% of each licence holder’s gross gaming revenue.
The signing of House Bill 347 put North Carolina on a firm path to regulation, stipulating that the state must publish regulations for sports betting before 8 January 2024.
The state was also mandated to allow sports betting operators to accept wagers before 14 June 2024.
Which operators will be going live in North Carolina?
In total, nine operators have submitted applications for sports betting licences in North Carolina.
Operators seeking approval to run sports betting in the state must partner with a sports team, league or venue within North Carolina.
Among those seeking a licence is BetMGM, which has struck a market access agreement with Charlotte Motor Speedway. The complex regularly hosts stock car racing series Nascar.
Also preparing to launch in the state is DraftKings, which will partner with Nascar. The deal makes DraftKings the exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of Nascar in the US and Canada.
In addition, Fanatics Betting and Gaming has begun its market entry process, entering a partnership agreement with NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. This will see Fanatics become the team’s official sports betting partner.
Underdog, the fantasy sports app, has also announced that will partner with McConnell Golf to support its application for a sports betting licence in North Carolina.
Traditionally focused on daily fantasy sports, Underdog has recently expanded into sports betting. However, the operator is yet to launch wagering, despite having secured a sports betting licence in Ohio in late 2022.