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North Carolina Announces Online Sports Betting Will Launch Before Retail Market

Written by: Michael Savio
Published January 5, 2024
6 min read
North Carolina Online Sports Betting Launch

The North Carolina Lottery (NCL) announced that online sports betting will launch ahead of retail sports betting in the Tar Heel State. While they still do not have a launch date, the announcement shows they are likely getting closer.

North Carolina has taken a long time to get their sports betting industry up and running. Their initial goal was to launch at the beginning of January in time for the NFL playoffs, but that has yet to happen. Governor Roy Cooper is now calling on the NCL to get the industry up and running before March Madness begins.

“The goal is to get it out there before March Madness. No guarantee that that’s the case, but that is the goal,” The North Carlina governor said of the process, “They’re working on it as fast as they can. I had them all in the room over there the other day pushing them, saying we’ve got to get this done.”

One reason for the delay is that the state took time to finalize the rules around the sports betting industry. Their first proposal came back in October, but they have been tweaking them ever since. That has prevented the state from being able to get operators to apply for licenses. 

Seven Operators Have Applied for Sports Betting Licenses

FanDuel and bet365 announced partnerships to enter the North Carolina sports betting market over the last two months, but five more operators have also submitted for operating licenses. That list includes:

According to North Carolina law, those operators must partner with local sports teams, arenas, tracks, etc, to gain market access. Unlike many other states, North Carolina does not require partnerships with their local tribes, giving operators more options for choosing partnerships.

The Tar Heel State’s law allows for up to 12 online sportsbooks, which means more operators are likely to join the seven that have already applied.

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Michael Savio

352 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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