North Carolina Sports Betting Launch Updates 2024

A Complete Guide to North Carolina Sports Betting

The Game Day takes you through all you need to know about North Carolina sports betting.

ByCarl Carchia

Mar 1, 2024

After years of waiting, North Carolinians will soon be able to wager from anywhere in the state, including their couch.

Mobile North Carolina sports betting will launch on March 11 at 12 pm EST, just ahead of the ACC Tournament tipping off. The announcement came from the North Carolina State Lottery Commission following their latest meeting on Jan. 24.

North Carolina sports betting can sign up early for each of the 7 expected NC mobile apps at 12 am EST on Friday, March 1.

North Carolina Sports Betting At A Glance

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Population10.5 Million
⚖️ Legal Betting Age21
🚀 Launch DateMarch 11, 2024
Pre-Registration March 1, 2024
📱Mobile Sportsbooks11 (estimated)
🎓College Betting
💰 Tax Rate18%
🏟️ Retail Locations8 (estimated)

Meanwhile, in-person betting will not be available on March 11, however.

That’s because in-person sportsbooks will be located at stadiums and/or sports venues with a capacity of at least 17,000 or pro golf tournaments with a capacity of at least 50,000 spectators (that’s written into the law).

Those sportsbooks will likely open at the most ideal time, which means when their given partner’s sport in is season.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission recently announced seven operators applied for mobile sports betting licenses. They are:

*NOTE: Caesars NC applied for “supplier" license since the law already gives it mobile access based on its retail (in-person) presence.

When Will North Carolina Sports Betting Launch?

North Carolina sports betting will launch on March 11 at 12 pm EST, just in time for the ACC Tournament. Pre-registration can begin as early as March 1 at 12 am EST.

Retail sportsbooks will not be open when North Carolina sports betting launches; the venues will likely open sportsbooks when the team/sport they’ve partnered with is in season, for maximum impact.

There will be 7 mobile sportsbooks eligible to launch on Day One. Others can launch later in the year, but only the operators who met the Dec. 27 application deadline will be taking bets initially.

North Carolina sports betting was initially thought to be launching by Jan. 8 - the earliest date written into HB 347 and the date of the College Football Playoff National Championship game.

However, a change to the licensing structure (sportsbooks must partner with a team or venue to get a license) and the required regulatory process made a launch for Super Bowl 58 impossible.

North Carolina Sports Betting: Teams & Venues Hold the Power

It was initially written into the bill to allow for up to 12 online sportsbooks to launch in the state, but a late change has altered that to a max of 11 licenses.

A unique aspect of the North Carolina sports betting bill is that sports betting operators must have a “written designation agreement” with a pro sports team, golf course, or racetrack in order to receive a license (and there are only 11 entities that can provide partnerships).

This rule does not exist in the rest of the 38 states where sports betting is legal. A regulatory commission has full control over licensing in those states.

This rule essentially means that if a pro team like the Panthers decides to end a sports betting partnership, that operator must close up shop and payout all pending bets.

Four sportsbooks have already conformed to the new “written designation” rule. Bet365 recently announced a partnership with the Charlotte Hornets, while ESPN BET NC has a deal with Quail Hollow, site of the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship.

FanDuel has an agreement with the PGA Tour, while BetMGM NC has access through a partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway. More recently, Fanatics Sportsbook reached a deal to be the official sports betting partner of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

These are the first of what will be many North Carolina sports betting partnerships.

The North Carolina sports betting bill allows for the following eight brick-and-mortar sportsbook locations:

  • Bank of America Stadium
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (BetMGM)
  • North Wilkesboro Speedway
  • PNC Arena (Fanatics Sportsbook)
  • Quail Hollow Country Club (ESPN BET)
  • Sedgefield Country Club
  • Spectrum Center (bet365)
  • WakeMed Soccer Park

It should be noted that college stadiums are not permitted venues under the rule. So, which operators are likely to enter the North Carolina sports betting market?

Caesars already operates two land-based casinos located roughly 40 minutes from the North Carolina-South Carolina border, so that’s an obvious one. Let’s take a look at the others:

North Carolina Sports Betting Timeline Updates

  • 📅 January 24, 2023: The North Carolina State Lottery Commission announces mobile betting will begin at 12 pm EST on March 11. Pre-registration can begin on March 1.
  • 📅 January 4, 2023: The North Carolina Sports Betting Committee meeting ends without a launch date announcement. The Committee states that retail sportsbooks will not be opening when mobile betting begins.
  • 📅 December 29, 2023: Seven operators apply for mobile sports betting licenses. Those operators are: DraftKings, FanDuel, bet365, BetMGM, Fanatics Sportsbook, PENN Entertainment (ESPN BET) and Underdog Sports.
  • 📅 December 13, 2023: The North Carolina State Lottery Commission approves “Rule Package #2" which, among other things, state that operators cannot market to people under 21 and can’t use the term “risk-free" if the promo requires bettors to incur any financial risk.
  • 📅 December 6, 2023: The newly-formed Sports Betting Committee approves an amended version of the second set of sports betting rules. Among the changes: Sportsbooks can now acquire naming rights to stadiums and venues and affiliate marketing companies are permitted as long as they don’t receive revenue from wagers.
  • 📅 November 29, 2023: The North Carolina State Lottery Commission announces sports betting will not launch in time for Super Bowl 58. The Commission announces it is now taking sports betting license applications until Dec. 27.
  • 📅 November 17, 2023: The Charlotte Hornets announce they have partnered with bet365. This marks the first collaboration between a sports team and a sportsbook within the state.
  • 📅 November 16, 2023: NC regulators finalize the initial set of sports betting rules. They also decided to postpone the proposed ban on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) products, and temporary exemptions were granted for pick ’em-style games.
  • 📅 November 14, 2023: North Carolina regulators announce sports betting will not launch by Jan. 8 - the earliest date possible. No specific launch date was announced.
  • 📅 November 8, 2023: The North Carolina State Lottery Commission has released a set of new draft rules intended to regulate the online sports betting industry.
  • 📅 October 17, 2023: North Carolina State Lottery Commission approves the first set of sports betting rules
  • 📅 September 27, 2023: North Carolina State Lottery Commission votes unanimously to create the Sports Betting Committee
  • 📅 September 1, 2023: North Carolina State Lottery Commission announces Gaming Laboratories International will assist with sports betting regulations.
  • 📅 August 3, 2023: DraftKings confirms it plans to launch in North Carolina in a press release outlining its second-quarter financial results
  • 📅 July 26, 2023: BetMGM confirms it will launch in North Carolina during its 2023 first-half update
  • 📅 June 14, 2023: Gov. Roy Cooper signs HB 347 into law at the Spectrum Center
  • 📅 June 6, 2023: HB 347 passes final House vote by 68-45 measure and heads to governor to be signed into law
  • 📅 June 1, 2023: HB 347 passes in the Senate by a vote of 38-11

North Carolina Sports Betting Legal Details

HB 347 was signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on June 14, 2023. It legalizes online sports betting in North Carolina (the state has had in-person betting at three Western casinos since 2021).

The North Carolina online sports betting bill allows for up to 11 mobile sportsbooks to launch in the Tar Heel State, in addition to eight brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

Each operator will pay a fee of $1 million for a five-year license. The tax rate will be 18%. Bettors must be 21 and wagering on college athletics is permitted, including betting on in-state teams.

Betting is permitted within a half-mile radius of a North Carolina sports facility with a minimum seating capacity of 17,000, or a venue that hosts an annual professional golf tournament attracting over 50,000 spectators.

Betting on horse racing, aka parimutuel betting, is allowed but there are no horse racing tracks in the state.

The state previously allowed charitable horse racing and banned parimutel horse racing betting outside tribal lands.

College betting is permitted, though it was initially left off the table in one of the earlier failed attempts at passing a sports betting bill.

This could be a boon to attract bettors from neighboring Virginia, which doesn’t allow wagering on in-state teams.

North Carolina Sports Betting Revenue & Taxes

North Carolina sports betting could bring in as much as $20 million per year in taxable revenue, according to the state’s fiscal research division report.

There have also been numbers as high as $126 million (based on a NCsharp.com projected $7 billion in handle).

So where is the tax money slated to go? Here’s the breakdown when it comes to North Carolina sports betting tax revenue:

  • $2 million in annual taxes allocated to the Department of Health and Human Services for programs addressing gambling addiction education and treatment.
  • $1 million annually to North Carolina Amateur Sports to purchase youth sports equipment or provide public facility upgrades.
  • There are also 14 universities that will receive $300,000 annually from license fees and taxes collected.

North Carolina Sports Betting Promotions

Unlike most states, operators will not be able to deduct their North Carolina sportsbook promotions come tax time, so that might limit the amount of bonuses available to North Carolina sports bettors.

Still, there are sure to be plenty of lucrative bonuses to be had when North Carolina sports betting launches.

Kentucky recently launched sports betting and operators like DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars and bet365 were offering hundreds in sign-up bonus for as little as a $5 wager.

We expect DraftKings North Carolina to offer a Bet $5, Get $200 in bonus bets instantly deal, while FanDuel North Carolina will likely follow suit.

Caesars North Carolina might go with its signature $1,000 first bet bonus, which is similar to BetMGM’s $1K first bet promo.

Bet365 recently reached a deal with the Hornets, so expect some great promos tied to Hornets swag and perhaps even a contest to win Hornets tickets.

Of course, all of those operators will also likely offer pre-registration (likely to start some time in February).

Keep this page bookmarked and we’ll have all the North Carolina sports betting pre-registration deals.

Author

Carl Carchia

Carl is the Commercial Strategist for The Game Day. He has worked in sports journalism for 15 years, spanning stops at PA SportsTicker, NBC Olympics, ESPN, CBS Sports HQ and Gambling.com Group (Bookies.com). A Connecticut native, Carl is an avid sports bettor who never dreamed legal betting would expand at the rate it has. Carl once lost $100 betting the UConn moneyline in the 6 OT classic vs. Syracuse in 2009, a bet he watched go down in flames in person. He no longer lives and dies with the Dallas Cowboys, but hopes he'll see another Super Bowl title before he dies.

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