North Carolina Sports Betting Committee Created, Starts Meeting ‘Soon’

North Carolina has a new sports betting committee to handle regulatory issues as the state edges toward a 2024 launch.

The matter-of-factly named Sports Betting Committee was created Wednesday by a unanimous vote of the nine-member North Carolina State Lottery Commission. According to Commission Chair Ripley Rand, the new committee will be a catch-all for sports betting regulatory matters moving forward. 

Matters could include the review of commission draft regulations and sports betting licensing applications before the full commission’s action. Regulations and licensing applications will precede the rollout of North Carolina sports betting apps planned for next year.

“All matters involving sports betting will go through this committee as an initial matter except for matters that need to be dealt with on a conditional and emergency basis when time is a significant factor,” Rand told the commission today. 

According to Rand, the Sports Betting Committee will “deal with sports betting issues that don’t fit neatly into the other committees (revenue generation, operations and personnel, and finance and audit) to move things forward with sports betting in a more focused way.” 

Rand said the committee will begin meeting soon to “take up sports betting matters and they come available.”

Sports Betting Chair a Former Duke Energy Senior VP

Commissioners assigned to the three-member Sports Betting Committee include Rand; Pamela Whitaker, chair of the Commission’s Operations and Personnel Committee; and Commissioner Cari Boyce, who will chair the committee. 

All three commissioners were appointed to their current terms by Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat.

Boyce is a former Senior VP for Enterprise, Strategy & Planning for Duke Energy. According to the NC Education Lottery website, she retired from that position in the spring of 2021

According to her bio on the site, Boyce has three decades of “diverse management experience across public and private sectors including work in communication, community and government relations, strategic planning and philanthropy.” 

Her term expires in Aug. 2028. The current terms of both Rand, an attorney, and Whitaker, a retired HR professional, expire in Aug. 2026.

State Budget Changes and a 2024 Launch

North Carolina is busy preparing for a 2024 commercial sports betting launch — and eventual launch of pari-mutuel horse race betting — under the state’s sports betting law signed in June. That law authorizes up to 12 online sportsbooks and a limited number of retail sportsbooks tied to those licenses. North Carolina sports betting is currently only available on tribal lands under an agreement with the state.

Last week, however, state lawmakers passed a new state budget tweaking North Carolina’s new sports betting law by removing the cap of 12 operators and instead defining potential operators as those in a written agreement with pro sports teams, NASCAR tracks, pro golf tracks, and governing bodies for NASCAR and pro golf eligible for the licenses.

The number of potential online/mobile licensees remains relatively unchanged. 

That budget bill is now before Cooper, who is expected to let the budget become law without his signature

North Carolina sports betting could launch anytime between Jan. 8, 2024, and June 14, 2024, under state law, pending regulatory action by the commission. 

“In the future, the Commission will identify a first day for authorized, lawful betting,” according to the NC Education Lottery website.

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About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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