In a meeting held on Dec. 6, North Carolina’s sports betting committee introduced several amendments to its second set of sports wagering rules. Among these changes was the removal of the regulation prohibiting sports betting operators from securing naming rights at any sports facility within the state.
Following these modifications, the North Carolina Lottery Commission convened on Dec. 13 and formally approved the updated set of rules. This crucial step aligns with the state’s plan to initiate sports betting operations by 2024.
Within the newly approved set of regulations lies another rule that allows sports betting operators to collaborate with marketing affiliates. This updated rule grants operators the ability to engage with these affiliates, although with a crucial restriction: they are prohibited from accepting any revenue directly derived from wagers placed by the users they refer.
“The sports betting committee’s staff recommended striking the marketing affiliate paragraph after several public comments were made from parties involved with advertisers and regulators in other legal sports betting states,” the report read. “There was “looseness” in the language, creating uncertainty in the rule.”
The set of rules adopted by the commission during the public meeting held on Wednesday falls under the umbrella of “rulemaking package No. 2.” Among these rules, one regulation prohibits operators from advertising their services to individuals under the age of 21.
Additionally, marketing guidelines have been outlined, restricting operators from labeling bets that necessitate any financial risk as “risk-free.” The industry has gradually moved away from its usage over the past year, indicating a broader trend in regulatory and marketing practices within the sector.
As per the commission’s announcement, the updated regulations are slated to take effect starting Jan. 8, 2024. Despite the establishment of these rules, a specified launch date has not been set for NC sports betting sites to go live in the state.
14 Mobile Sports Betting Request Application Materials
During the meeting, the committee disclosed that they had received requests for application materials from a pool of 14 mobile sports betting operators.
The deadline for sportsbooks seeking to operate in North Carolina to submit their license application to the regulatory board is set at Dec. 27. With a 60-day vetting process, it is plausible that the launch date might fall in March, coinciding with the college basketball postseason tournaments. While the board has not disclosed specific timelines, the anticipation for a rollout in time for the high-stakes college basketball events remains palpable.
Currently, the commission has not confirmed receiving any applications. However, a roster of major operators, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, bet365, Caesars Sportsbook, Fanatics, and ESPN Bet, are anticipated to secure licensing in North Carolina. While the official launch date remains undisclosed, these operators stand prepared to kickstart their operations in the state once the green light for sports betting goes live in 2024.
FanDuel recently expanded its partnership with the PGA Tour, looking to enter North Carolina’s sports betting market. Meanwhile, Penn Entertainment and ESPN BET struck a strategic alliance with Quail Hollow Club, laying the groundwork for their foray into North Carolina. bet365, on the other hand, solidified an exclusive partnership with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets in November, securing its status as the team’s official sports betting partner.