North Carolina: Seven sports wagering operators are licensed to take bets starting March 11

February 29, 2024 5:08 PM
Photo: By Anders94 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
  • Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press
February 29, 2024 5:08 PM
  • Gary D. Robertson, Associated Press
  • North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Seven sports gambling companies received North Carolina government licenses on Thursday so they can accept wagers from people in the state from mobile devices and computers in less than two weeks.

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The North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which is tasked to oversee a 2023 law that authorized sports gambling, announced the successful initial applicants for the interactive sports wagering operator licenses.

The commission had already announced that the first licensees could begin taking wagers at noon March 11 — the day before the start of the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament. Customers can bet on professional, college or Olympic-style sports.

In preparation, starting at noon Friday people 21 and over can register with an operator, set up accounts and make monetary deposits.

The license issuance “represents a major milestone in establishing legal sports betting in North Carolina,” commission Chair Ripley Rand said in a news release.

The commission said the first licensees went to BETMGM and Underdog Sports Wagering along with companies doing business as FanDuel Sportsbook, DraftKings, Fanatics Sportsbook, bet365 and ESPN BET.

The commission has received nine interactive sports wagering operator applications and expects to “approve additional licenses in the near future,” the release said.

Applications associated with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation, which combined have three casinos in North Carolina where in-person sports gambling already takes place, were also turned in, according to the commission.

The new law authorizes in-person betting beyond those casinos, but that won’t begin right away. Successful wagering company applicants had to enter an agreement with an in-state professional team, or certain pro golf or automobile racing venues or governing bodies. Some of those agreements have been made public.

North Carolina is set to become the 30th state, along with the District of Columbia, to offer mobile sports betting, according to the American Gaming Association.

The state will tax sports wagering and could generate over $100 million in revenues annually within five years, according to a legislative branch analysis.