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North Carolina Sports Betting Updates: $1.83 Billion Handle Since Launch

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 11 mins

North Carolina Sports Betting Updates: $1.83 Billion Handle Since Launch

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The eight online North Carolina betting sites have generated more than $1.83 billion in handle from legal wagering statewide since the March launch, the State Lottery Commission announced Friday. 

Those operators combined for a handle of $525,548,571 during the month of May, and they paid out $458,667,635  in winnings. That left $63,080,347 in revenue for the state's sportsbooks. That figure is taxed at 18%, so the state's haul for the month was roughly $9.462 million. 

Since statewide online sports betting began at noon on March 11, the state's total handle - which includes paid and promotional wagering - was $1,833,791,338. The amount paid in winnings has been $1,587,819,910, and the gross wagering revenue for the operators has been $234,828,232. 

Given the 18% state tax on gross wagering revenue, sports betting has generated more than $42.296 million for the state's coffers. 

The sports betting operators approved to take wagers statewide in North Carolina are: 

North Carolina's handle has been tracking that of Massachusetts in its first few months of betting. That state launched mobile betting on March 10, 2023. Massachusetts was said to be the best comp for North Carolina, said Deputy Executive Director Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting Sterl Carpenter. When Carpenter held a similar position with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, the Bay State generated nearly $550 million in handle in March of 2023, vs. the $659,308,541 bet in North Carolina.

March Madness played a major role in boosting North Carolina's handle, as did $202.6 million in promo spend by the books and their customers. 

Wagering Underway Across North Carolina 

The eight sports books began taking wagers at a frenetic pace once wagering began, as noted in the pin-drop image above. 

DraftKings has partnered with NASCAR to operates its book in North Carolina. Former Panthers TE and current NFL on Fox analyst Greg Olsen made the book's ceremonial first bet in the Tar Heel State. Olsen wagered $100 on Bubba Wallace to win the NASCAR Series Cup championship. Wallace is currently +4000. 

Fanatics partnered with the Carolina Hurricanes. The book has signage at the PNC Arena in Raleigh and plans to have a launch party nearby Monday night. 

Meanwhile, Caesars on March 1 also began accepting online wagers on Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians lands through its arrangement with the tribe. It is the first site to take online wagers in the state. This was possible because of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The app is also accepting sports bets at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, NC, and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy.

The Commission received nine applications for sports betting licenses. Caesars has been approved as a service operator, along with theScore and SDSV Limited.

Sports betting in North Carolina began ahead of March Madness, a goal set by Gov. Roy Cooper. Nine applicants are vying for sports betting licenses in the Tar Heel State. 

North Carolina Sportsbook Operators & Partners   

Sportsbook operators needed a "written designation agreement" with a professional sports team, and the owners of certain big-league sports venues. the PGA Tour or NASCAR before being licensed. 

Only then can the Commission was able to approve "interactive sports wagering operators." 

Here's a look at the books that have announced deals and their partners. These deals are all contingent on the operators being granted licenses by the state. 

ESPN BET North Carolina (through its parent PENN Entertainment) and Quail Hollow Club, which plays host to the Wells Fargo Championship on the PGA Tour. (It's likely ESPN BET will sponsor that PGA Tour stop once the current deal with Wells Fargo ends.) 

DraftKings North Carolina and NASCAR

BetMGM North Carolina and Charlotte Motor Speedway

Bet365 North Carolina and the NBA's Charlotte Hornets 

Fanatics North Carolina and the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes

FanDuel North Carolina and the PGA Tour 

Underdog Sports and McConnell Golf/Sedgefield Country Club

The tribe is not required to form any partnership. The remaining would-be operators may enter into written designation agreements including the NC Courage of the NWSL, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, MLS franchise FC Charlotte, Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, and NASCAR.

Brooklyn-based Underdog Sports is a fantasy sports site. Underdog currently operates and offers fantasy sports products in 33 states. North Carolina has no plans to approve fantasy play any time soon. Underdog is licensed in Ohio to operate a sportsbook but has yet to launch there. 

RELATED: Check out the North Carolina Betting Promos currently available.

North Carolina Sports Betting Timeline

  • 📅 June 7, 2024: Lottery Commission says has generated $1,833,791,338 in handle since the March launch.
  • 📅 April 16, 2024: Lottery Commission says state generated $659,308,541 in handle during March.
  • 📅 March 11, 2024: Mobile, legal, online sportsbetting begins at 12 noon.
  • 📅 March 1, 2024: Operators begin pre-registration of customers. 
  • 📅 Feb. 29, 2024: 7 Operators Are Granted Certificates of Operation: ESPNBET, Bet365, BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, Fanatics, and Underdog Sports.
  • 📅 Feb. 13, 2024: A Meredith Poll reveals that 57% of North Carolina voters support the expansion of online casino gaming in the state.
  • 📅 Jan. 30: Caesars officially announces its plans to expand to online betting in North Carolina.
    📅 Jan. 24: Sports betting will begin on March 11 and pre-registration starts on March 1.
  • 📅 Jan. 10: Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise Cherokee and Catawba Two Kings Casino have applied for sports betting licenses, bringing the total to 9
  • 📅 Dec. 29, 2023: 7 operators and 7 service providers apply for North Carolina sports betting licenses. The books are BetMGM, bet365, DraftKings, ESPN BET, FanDuel, Fanatics and Underdog Sports
  • 📅 Dec. 21: Gov. Cooper expects North Carolina betting apps to launch in time for March Madness
  • 📅 Dec. 15: Fanatics will partner with the Carolina Hurricanes
  • 📅 Dec. 13: Fourteen operators have requested sports betting license applications
  • 📅 Dec. 7: FanDuel partners with the PGA Tour in North Carolina.
  • 📅 Dec. 5: ESPN BET announces a partnership with Charlotte golf course Quail Hollow Club.
  • 📅  November 29: Application deadline set for Dec. 27, with a 60-day period to review each applicant. 
  • 📅  November 17: Bet365 and Charlotte Hornets announce sponsorship deal, the first step necessary for the sportsbook to operate in North Carolina.
  • 📅  November 17: The public comment period closes on a revised set of sports betting and parimutuel wagering rules proposed by the Sports Betting Committee.
  • .📅  November 16: The Lottery Commission approves an amended set of betting rules for public comment, the proposed Sports Betting Catalog, and formally passes on including Fantasy Sports in North Carolina until further notice.
  • .📅  November 7: The Sports Betting Committee posts updated rules for governing sports betting and parimutuel wagering.
  • 📅  October 27: The Sports Betting Committee holds a public hearing to discuss the rules governing sports betting.
  • 📅  October 17: A set of proposed rules governing sports betting and parimutuel wagering is approved for posting by the Sports Betting Committee.
  • 📅  October 2: State budget takes effect that changes the licensing process for sportsbooks and eliminates a cap on the number of books allowed.
  • 📅  September 27: North Carolina State Lottery forms Sports Betting Committee.
  • 📅  August 31:  North Carolina State Lottery hires Gaming Laboratories Inc. to assist with the launch of North Carolina sports betting.
  • 📅  July 31: The North Carolina State Lottery Commission names Sterl Carpenter as executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting
  • 📅  June 14: Governor Cooper signed HB 347 into law; the bill allows for up to 12 mobile sportsbooks, which could launch as soon as January 8, 2024. The latest NC sports betting can launch is June 14, 2024.
  • 📅  June 7: The House votes 68-45 to concur with the Senate's changes to HB 347. The bill now awaits the signature of Gov. Cooper.
  • 📅  September 22, 2022: A $30 billion budget clears the state House and Senate that includes language stripping away the power to initially allow sports betting operators from the N.C. State Lottery Commission.




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Sports Betting Now Legal In North Carolina

Those 21 and over who have established accounts with a licensed operator can use their phone or electronic device to place sports wagers on their mobile devices.

Thus far, 14 companies have been approved as sports betting wagering suppliers. They include: 

  • SportContentCo, LLC 
  • SIS Content Services, Inc.
  • Swish Analytics North Carolina, Inc.
  • Idology, Inc.
  • LexisNexis Risk Solutions FL, Inc.
  • International Betting Integrity Association
  • FEMG, CO

The sports betting catalog was approved in November. It mirrors events offered in most other legal jurisdictions. 

The full North Carolina Lottery Commission voted to approve an amended set of 64 pages of rules to govern legal sports and parimutuel wagering, and the proposed sports betting catalog on November 16. 

The Commission has created a North Carolina sports betting website to educate residents on both the progress and details of how sports betting will work, where the money will go, and information on responsible gaming.  

A five-year license costs $1 million, plus $80,000 in various application fees. 

The budget with the new North Carolina sports betting procedures became law on October 2, 2023, after Cooper let a 10-day period lapse without his veto or signature.

The law permits betting on college events, something that was not included in the bill that failed in 2022. The state tax rate on net gaming revenues for the books is 18%. Operators will pay $1 million for a five-year license. 

The law prohibits operators from deducting promos and credits from their taxable income. That is a trend that has been adopted elsewhere and cuts into the operators’ net profits.

It allows retail sites to open off Native American lands and take cash wagers. It also introduces parimutuel wagering on horse races. 

Those eight retail betting sites allowed to take wagers are those that play host to a NASCAR Series race, a pro golf tournament with more than 50,000 live spectators. And those facilities that are home to MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL, or NWSL franchises. The NBA Charlotte Hornets, NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, and NFL Carolina Panthers all call the Tar Heel State home. 

Money from license fees and taxes will be directed to several state departments, including $2 million annually for the Department of Health and Human Services for gambling addiction education and treatment programs. Along with $300,000 to the athletic departments at several universities and colleges.

The bill allows bettors to use, among other tools, credit cards, prepaid cards, foreign currency, and crypto/virtual currency to fund their accounts. 

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.