The North Carolina State Lottery Commission has set Monday March 11, as the day that legal sports wagering can begin in North Carolina.
Seven operators will launch into the market including DraftKings, Bet MGM, bet365, ESPN BET North Carolina, Fanatics, FanDuel and UnderDog. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Nation, which operate tribal casinos in the state, have also applied for online licenses.
Under the Sports Wagering Authorization approved by the commission, members of the public who are twenty-one years old or more and who have established accounts with a licensed operator can use their phone or electronic device as of noon, March 11, to place sports wagers on licensed operators’ sports wagering platforms. The Authorization also sets Friday, March 1, as the date when licensed operators can begin registering accounts for new players and accepting account deposits.
Importantly, before offering bets or registering new players, interactive sports wagering operators must obtain a license and receive a certificate of compliance issued by the Commission.
“The plan approved today means that North Carolinians will be able to place bets on their favorite teams in many of this year’s college basketball conference tournaments, including men’s tournaments in the ACC, Conference USA, the MEAC, and the AAC, as well as throughout the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments,” said Ripley Rand, Chair of the commission. “Bets on sporting events have been made for as long as those events have taken place, but this time they will be legal, they will be done securely and fairly, and they will be made under rules designed to encourage responsible gaming.”
No sports wagers will be lawful in North Carolina until noon on Monday, 11 March.
No licenses or certificates of compliance have yet been approved. Currently, the commission is reviewing nine applications for interactive sports wagering operators. It urges applicants to submit their proposed internal controls for review by Friday, Jan. 26, to help ensure they are ready to offer sports wagering on the first day.
“The commission and its staff have made great progress in efficiently adopting rules for sports betting, building a system to accept and review technical certifications, and assisting applicants with their applications,” said Cari Boyce, chair of the commission’s Sports Betting Committee. “This establishes the framework for a responsible gaming program in North Carolina. Now it is up to the applicants to finish the job in order to go live on March 11.”
The commission will maintain a list of licensed interactive sports wagering operators on its website, including the names of their platforms and links to their websites.
The Authorization does not permit advance deposit wagering (ADW) or pari-mutuel horse race wagering. The commission and its staff are in the process of drafting rules for ADW and pari-mutuel horse race wagering and will follow the commission’s Rulemaking Policy and Procedure to provide the public with an opportunity to comment prior to adoption.
The first sports bets will be made on mobile devices. In-person sports wagering will follow on a case-by-case basis as interested operators meet standard requirements.
The start date for sports betting in North Carolina will come more than three months ahead of the 15 June deadline set by the state law authorizing sports betting when it was approved by the N.C. General Assembly last year.
The latest operator to sign up for a partnership is New York-based Under Dog
DraftKings secured an access deal with NASCAR whilst BetMGM North Carolina has teamed up with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts NACAR’s Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America ROVAL 400 races each year.
“DraftKings has a proven track record of enhancing the fan experience across sports,” said Joe Solosky, NASCAR managing director of sports betting. “We are thrilled to continue working with DraftKings to deliver NASCAR fans more engagement opportunities and bring its leading mobile sportsbook to North Carolina.”
Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter described BetMGM as ‘a signature source for sports betting.’
“With Charlotte Motor Speedway’s history of innovation, we wanted to move forward into this new era of sports entertainment with a progressive sportsbook,” Mr. Walter said. “This partnership with BetMGM will bring sports fans new ways to enjoy their favorite events while expanding North Carolina’s tax base, supporting colleges and facilitating recruitment of major events for the future.”
Adam Greenblatt, BetMGM CEO, said: “We have been eagerly awaiting legal, safe, regulated online sports betting in North Carolina, a state with more than 10 million people and one of the most vibrant sports environments in the country. BetMGM’s partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway meets a great demand for entertainment from North Carolinians. Together we will deliver a premier and responsible gaming product that benefits many state agencies.”
Fanatics has signed up Carolina Hurricanes as its sportsbook partner, bet365 with Charlotte Hornets, FanDuel with the PGA Tour in North Carolina whilst ESPN Bet has announced a partnership with Charlotte golf course Quail Hollow Club.