North Carolina prepares to launch online sports betting

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The Tar Heel State confirmed its launch date in January. Online sports betting will go live at noon EST in North Carolina, with retail set to follow in due course.

Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law in June 2023, paving the way for legal betting. However, the bill also came with a series of requirements, set out in a timeline for implementation.

This included publishing regulations before 8 January 2024 and operators accepting wagers prior to 14 June 2024. The state met these last month, with operators to begin taking bets well ahead of June’s deadline. Operators were also given a deadline of 26 January to submit their internal controls before the market opened.

Who is launching in North Carolina?

Earlier this month, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission awarded eight interactive sports wagering licences to operators. Several heavy hitters were named among the initial round of successful applicants.

So far, FanDuel, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, Fanatics, Bet365, BetMGM, ESPN Bet and Underdog have secured licences. All eight operators have confirmed they will launch today, including FanDuel, which launched sign-up promotional offers for new customers.

Also going live today is DraftKings, confirming the news late last week. Launching in North Carolina means DraftKings will be active in 27 states across the US, as well as Ontario in Canada.

“The Tar Heel State is home to a passionate fanbase and some of the most iconic college basketball programmes of all time, making this an exciting time to introduce legalised online sports betting,” DraftKings North America president Matt Kalish said.

“We’re proud to be working alongside Nascar as our market access partner and look forward to enhancing the fan experience across North Carolina with a fun, safe and seamless sports betting product.”

Partnerships pave the way for betting

Operators wanting to offer sports betting in the state must partner a sports team, league or venue within North Carolina. All those issued a licence have secured such a deal, including DraftKings with Nascar.

BetMGM is working with the Charlotte Motor Speedway and ESPN Bet golf’s PGA Tour and its Wells Fargo Championship, which is held in the state. 

Fanatics Betting and Gaming has partnered the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Fanatics will be the team’s official sports betting partner. Bet365 signed a partnership deal with the NBA team the Charlotte Hornets in November 2023. 

In addition, Underdog has expanded its position as a paid fantasy sports operator via a partnership with McConnell Golf.

Supplier deals also confirmed ahead of North Carolina launch

Aside from operator licences, approvals have also been confirmed for sports wagering supplier licences. Successful applicants include GeoComply, SBTech and Sportradar.

The latter of these, Sportradar, confirmed its licence last week. The permit is valid for five years and allows it to deliver sports data to approved operators in North Carolina.

Sportradar now holds 56 licences, or equivalent, in North America across US states, territories, tribes and Canada.

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