On Tuesday, Nov. 7, the North Carolina Sports Betting Committee made significant progress in the journey to legalize sports betting within the state. During this session, the committee introduced a second wave of sports betting rules and regulations, with plans for their implementation as early as the beginning of the new year.
In a unanimous decision, the committee voted to initiate the second notice of rulemaking, marking an important milestone in this process. These rules are slated for finalization upon the conclusion of the public comment period, which is set to end on Nov. 27.
Although the committee has not provided specific launch dates for sports betting in North Carolina, the earliest possible start date is set for Jan. 8, 2024. However, the legislation does not mandate the immediate launch of sports betting as it allows for a timeline extending until June 15, 2024.
Following a brief 30-minute meeting on Tuesday, the committee unveiled a comprehensive 256-page document outlining the proposed rules. The initial set of regulations primarily addressed fundamental aspects related to sports wagering.
In the latest set of rules, the committee introduced new language that outlines guidelines for licensing, branding, marketing, and responsible gaming in North Carolina’s sports betting industry.
“I did want to thank the folks on staff for putting together all this in a very quick, obviously, and thoughtful way,” Ripley Rand, North Carolina Lottery Commission Chairman said.
“I don’t think anybody on this committee or the commission itself signed up to be reading hundreds and thousands of pages of proposed rules, but the staff has made this process go probably as easily as it can go up to this point.”
Following the first set of rules, a public hearing and comment period occurred last month. The feedback and suggestions received from the public are currently being compiled for review by the sports betting committee. These will be presented for discussion on Nov. 14, potentially becoming part of the first rules package.
With the committee’s approval of the second set of rules, the public comment period is now underway. A public hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20, during which the committee will assess the feedback received, with potential adoption of the recommendations on Dec. 6.
Details of North Carolina Sports Betting Committee Second Rules Package
The North Carolina Sports Betting Committee has given the green light to a new set of rules, which outline crucial procedures for license applications and provide guidelines for appealing denied applications. These practices align with the standard protocols in place in many legalized sports betting states.
Furthermore, operators are advised to refrain from employing certain betting terms such as “risk-free” or “free,” as these terms are expressly prohibited in the state. The rules also strictly forbid any advertising or affiliation with colleges and universities. In addition, the second set of rules specifically prohibits the use of marketing materials on college or university radio or television stations, as well as other educational platforms.
Regarding naming rights, sportsbooks are prohibited from acquiring or entering into contracts for naming rights at any sports stadiums, arenas, or tracks within the state. This restriction extends to all related facilities, encompassing seating sections, parking lots, concession areas, and lounges.
“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.
In adherence to the legal age requirement of 21 for bettors within the state, the newly introduced set of rules prioritizes responsible advertising practices, ensuring that operators refrain from targeting individuals below the legal age. This aspect forms a key element of the marketing guidelines presented on Tuesday.
Furthermore, operators are mandated to establish a comprehensive problem gaming plan, encompassing both voluntary and involuntary exclusion programs, to be submitted to the regulatory commission. In addition, they are obligated to offer resources and support to bettors dealing with issues related to problem gaming.
The rules package also requires operators to incorporate player identification and documentation for all in-person anonymous wagers or payouts exceeding $10,000.