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Many North Carolina sports bettors are attempting to access legal sportsbooks in other states. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

Legalizing sports betting in North Carolina likely won’t be revisited until 2023, and a staggering amount of Tar Heel State residents are attempting to access legal sportsbooks in other states. 

GeoComply Senior Director of Government Relations Danny DiRienzo completed a heat-map analysis for Gaming Today that revealed a significant amount of activity during a typically slow time of the year for sports betting.

During a 30-day period in July, GeoComply performed 103,000 geo-location checks on NC residents trying to access a legal sportsbook in another state. In all, 26,000 unique user names were detected. None of the activity resulted in wagers being placed.

Imagine what those numbers will look like in September when the NFL and college football seasons start.

“What this depicts is the level of interest and engagement from North Carolinians in legal sportsbooks, which is pretty high and would be even more compelling a month from now,” DiRienzo said. “But even during a slow time, we have a lot of people in North Carolina still trying to access legal sportsbooks.”

north carolina sports betting heatmap, gecomply

The effort to legalize sports betting in North Carolina had plenty of momentum during the recent legislative session but was upended in the 11th hour.

Virginia Tops the List of States for NC Bettors

Virginia was the leading destination for North Carolinians trying to access legal sportsbooks, as the state accounted for 37% of the 103,000 geo-checks. In a separate test, DiRienzo was able to identify the same user names (or account numbers) being detected in both states.

“All of the major roadways between Virginia and North Carolina see a lot of account movement back and forth across the border,” DiRienzo said.

While GeoComply is unable to monitor a customer’s wagering activity, logic dictates if a North Carolina user is attempting to log into a legal sportsbook account in Virginia, then bets are being placed.

An Industry Leader in the Sports Betting Space

GeoComply provides geo-location technology to blue-chip sportsbook operators including BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbook, PointsBet, and others. 

Sports betting apps use the company’s technology to prevent bets from being placed outside of legal states. A geo-location check occurs when a user attempts to log into their account. DiRienzo noted GeoComply conducts more than 10 billion checks a year on a global basis.

Limited In-State Options for North Carolina Sports Bettors

North Carolina has two retail sportsbooks in the western part of the state that aren’t easy to access if you’re living in major cities such as Charlotte or Raleigh. 

A third retail sportsbook is expected to open in time for the upcoming football season at Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, NC. Charlotte residents can reach the temporary facility in 30-40 minutes on I-85. The Catawba Nation’s permanent facility is not expected to be completed until 2024.  

About the Author
Kris Johnson

Kris Johnson

Writer & Contributor
Kris Johnson is a Senior Writer at Gaming Today with more than 15 years of experience as a sports journalist. Kris' work has appeared in Sports Business Daily, Sports Business Journal, NASCAR Illustrated, and more. Kris also authored a sports betting novel entitled The Endgame.

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