North Carolina Lottery Commission Withdraws Naming Rights Rule as License Applications Begin

The sports betting committee of the North Carolina Lottery Commission made pivotal adjustments to its second rules proposal on Wednesday, addressing the contentious naming rights rule. This rule had previously barred sports betting operators from affixing their names to any sports facility. However, in a significant turn of events, the committee has decided to rescind this regulation, allowing operators to apply for naming rights at sports arenas in North Carolina.

Under the former regulations, sports betting operators had the liberty to establish partnerships with local sports teams, as demonstrated by the collaboration between Bet365 and the Charlotte Hornets. However, strict limitations were imposed on promotional activities, prohibiting any sportsbook advertisements within the team’s affiliated facilities.

These constraints encompassed various areas within the sporting venues, including stadiums, arenas, seating sections, lounges, parking lots, and concession areas. As a result, despite partnerships existing between operators and sports franchises, advertising opportunities within the team’s physical spaces were strictly off-limits.

“No operator shall contract for or purchase the right to name a Sports Facility or racetrack, or any physical locations within the sports facility or racetrack, including but not limited to seating locations, luxury boxes, parking lots, concourses, track, playing field, court, golf holes, locker rooms, benches, concession stands, and the like,” the rules read.

Following the lifting of restrictions, Bet365’s branding is set to take center stage at the Spectrum Center, the esteemed home ground of the Charlotte Hornets.

Another notable alteration in the regulations permits marketing affiliates to collaborate with sports betting operators under the condition that they refrain from accepting any revenue derived directly from the bets placed by the players they refer.

The committee disclosed that the alterations to the proposed rules stemmed from collaborative input gathered from sports betting stakeholders.

The committee has given its nod to the proposed changes, incorporating several staff recommendations that were influenced by public feedback acknowledged back in November. Yet, the final endorsement of the new regulations rests with the Lottery Commission, set to convene in a scheduled meeting on Dec. 13.

While the agenda for this forthcoming gathering remains undisclosed, confirmation regarding the discussion of the revised naming rights regulations is pending. The outcome of this meeting will determine the fate of the approved changes and their formal adoption into the regulatory framework.

North Carolina Sports Betting License Application

On Wednesday, the committee unveiled that the licensing application process for operators, suppliers, and providers in North Carolina, which began last Friday, has already garnered a significant response. Within a short span, 43 application requests have been submitted, signaling a robust interest and swift engagement from entities seeking licenses within the state’s sports betting market.

Out of the total 43 applications received, 11 submissions have originated from operators with the commission poised to potentially accommodate up to 12 online operators. Beyond operators, 24 applications have been tendered by various suppliers, while eight applications have been submitted by service providers.

The looming deadline for application submission, set for Dec. 27, stands as a critical cutoff for operators aspiring to be considered for the anticipated launch date.

About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with more than four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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