North Carolina Edges Toward Launch of Betting with ‘Potential Operators’ Registration Option

North Carolina is inviting its future sports betting operators to register for regulatory notifications as the state moves toward launch sometime next year.

According to agency Communications Director Van Denton, the NC Education Lottery posted the registration form on its website on Aug. 8. The form includes spaces for the business name, mailing address, and individual point of contact for potential operators that will vie for licensing in the new market, with online sportsbooks expected to launch as early as January 2024.

Once registered, “registrants will be sent important notifications for sports betting operators when they are made by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission,” per the form. Only potential sports betting operators — not hopeful service providers or suppliers — are asked to register at this time.

Under the state’s sports betting law, North Carolina is authorized to license as many as 12 operators for North Carolina sports betting apps that took effect on June 14. The NC Lottery Commission has 12 months from that date – or until June 14, 2024 – to launch commercial sports betting, with a potential launch date still pending.

“In the future, the Commission will identify a first day for authorized, lawful betting,” per the NC Education Lottery sports wagering webpage.

Legal sports betting in the state is only available at tribal retail sportsbooks.

NC Sports Betting Application Rollout Also Pending

Approval of North Carolina sports betting rules will be followed by an application rollout – although regulators haven’t said much about the application process.

North Carolina is inviting potential sports betting operators to register for notifications.
(photo by LesPalenik)

“The timing for these applications will be made available as they are still being worked on at this time,” per the registration form posted on the NC Education Lottery page last week. “These materials will be available in the future.”

What is clear is that North Carolina will expect sports betting operator license fees to be paid whenever applications are filed.

According to the registration form posted online:

“Fees for a license when filing an application will be due at the time of submission: (1) One million dollars ($1,000,000) for an interactive sports wagering license; (2) Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for a service provider license; (3) Thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) for a sports wagering supplier license.

It’s also clear that the licensing of operators will move quickly once the application process begins. Per state law, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission is required to review and “issue” interactive sports betting licenses within 60 days from the time a completed application is received. A 30-day extension is possible in limited circumstances.

Sports Betting Not Yet on Regulatory Meeting Agendas

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss items, including instant games and budget adjustments. Sports betting is not on the agenda. The next regularly scheduled meeting is expected to be held on Sept. 27, although that agenda is not yet available.

The NC Education Lottery website states that the commission is working in the meantime to meet its legal obligations to bring legal sports and horse racing betting online within the next 10 months.

“(We are) working to meet those obligations so that sports betting and horse racing wagering can begin as soon as practicable and so that these activities will be conducted responsibly,” per the statement.

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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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