The North Carolina Lottery Commission announced on Tuesday that the anticipated start of sports betting in the state during January will not materialize as previously speculated. Yet, the commission emphasized that the legislation governing sports betting is still set to come into effect as scheduled in January.
The Tar Heel State’s gambling laws initially signaled the start of sports betting as early as Jan. 8. However, despite this set date coinciding with the College Football National Championship, the state is yet to receive licensing applications or finalize the necessary rules. Enthusiastic bettors had hoped for wagering availability for notable events like the championship game, the impending Super Bowl, and the approaching March Madness tournaments. As of now, the timeline for the launch remains uncertain, leaving the future of sports betting in North Carolina in limbo.
Under the legislation approved by the General Assembly this year, the North Carolina State Lottery, entrusted with overseeing the state’s new mobile and in-person sports betting, has been granted until June 15, 2024, to initiate the betting services.
Ripley Rand, North Carolina lottery Commissioner, spoke on the issue:
“Sports betting will not be authorized until January 8. The laws related to sports betting don’t become active until Jan 8. Sports betting will not be authorized until the commission can approval the rules and the potential operators submits an application, and the commission approves the applications.”
January Deadline Seen as Unrealistic
With numerous pending tasks, both members and staff of the commission conveyed during the sports betting committee meeting that the January deadline was impractical. Sterl Carpenter, recently appointed as the commission’s Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting, delineated the crucial milestones necessary for the launch during the session.
He mentioned that once interested sportsbook operators submit their applications for a license to accept wagers within the state, thorough investigations will be conducted. These investigations will focus on evaluating their financial controls, security measures, and responsible gaming strategies. Additionally, a newly approved provision, now part of the state law since last month, requires all applicants to establish formal agreements with teams, leagues, or sports arenas within the state.
During the meeting, the committee greenlit a wide range of events eligible for wagering upon the official launch, pending final endorsement from the full commission. Additionally, the committee sanctioned modifications to its initial set of rules, signaling a proactive approach to refining the regulatory framework.
Commissioner Cari Boyce highlighted that for sports betting to take effect on Jan. 8, the committee would have needed to convene daily. However, by the conclusion of the meeting, there was no definitive timeline established regarding the duration required to move forward.
College sports betting remains unrestricted at the moment, granting bettors the freedom to place wagers on in-state teams like the North Carolina Tarheels and Duke Blue Devils. The approved sports range widely, encompassing baseball, basketball, football, MMA, cycling, rugby, motorsports, tennis, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and boxing.