North Carolina mobile sports betting will not be available in time for Super Bowl

November 30, 2023 2:09 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports
November 30, 2023 2:09 PM
  • Sam Bentham, Special to CDC Gaming Reports

Chair of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission (NCSLC), Ripley Rand, confirmed that bettors in the Tar Heel State will have to wait until after the Super Bowl to place legal mobile sports bets as several outstanding tasks remained before mobile wagers could be accepted.

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NC sports betting law set January 8, 2024, as the launch date for NC online sports betting, and the new regulator for wagering has been busy preparing the state for launch. The NCSLC published its regulatory proposals on November 7. The Commission approved these sports wagering rules alongside a wagering catalog on November 16, raising expectations that the state might meet a January launch or for the Super Bowl.

However, the State Lottery Commission posted an update on its YouTube channel confirming this would not be the case. “We see questions about whether sports betting will be up and running in time for the Super Bowl. It’s clear, however, with all the work remaining to be done and the timetable set out in state law, that unfortunately won’t be the case,” Rand said.

The Commission also announced it has approved an application structure that allows the process of awarding sports betting licenses to begin. Sportsbooks hoping to operate in North Carolina must submit applications for one of the state’s 12 licenses by December 27, giving the Commission 60 days to review applicants. This would indicate an early March launch, although the Commission can extend the review period by a further 30 days.

Currently, in-person wagering is only available at three sportsbooks on tribal land, but the sports betting law passed in June 2023 allowed for 12 online operators to launch. Each operator is subject to a $1 million licensing fee and an 18% tax on revenues.

Major players like FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM are expected to apply for an NC betting license. British bookmaker bet365 is also likely to apply after it signed a deal on November 17 with Charlotte Hornets to become its Official Sports Betting Partner. “Everyone at bet365 is thrilled to partner with the Hornets as we launch our iconic sports betting brand in North Carolina,” said a bet365 spokesperson.

The NCSLC Sports Betting Committee is scheduled to meet again on December 6, with a full State Lottery Commission meeting next scheduled for December 13, two weeks before the Commission’s recommended submission date for sports betting licenses for operators wishing to go live on launch day.