North Carolina Targets March Madness for Online Sports Betting Launch

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During a recent interview, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper shed light on the forthcoming landscape of sports betting in the Tar Heel State.

He articulated an ambitious objective, expressing a strong desire to launch legal online sports betting apps in time for the electrifying college basketball extravaganza of March Madness.

“The goal is to get it out there before March Madness,” Cooper said.

Legislation enacted by the general assembly governs the timeline for the launch of North Carolina sports betting apps, specifying a deadline for the North Carolina State Lottery Commission to roll out online sports betting in the state before June 15, 2024.

Previously, the commission had expressed optimism regarding an earlier launch date, citing encouraging progress in the preparatory phases.

“If progress continues at the pace it is now, an earlier start date than June 15 should be achievable, as the governor indicated. North Carolinians love basketball season and are looking forward to the chance to bet on their favorite teams and players,” said the commission. “With all the progress that’s been made, the commission expects to be in a position soon to announce when sports betting can begin in North Carolina.”

No Guarantees for March Madness Betting in NC

The first round of the NCAA basketball tournament is scheduled to tip off on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

Cooper’s alignment of North Carolina’s online sports betting launch with this significant sporting event underscores the strategic opportunity March Madness presents. However, Cooper maintained a realistic stance, acknowledging that despite the set goal, the timing of the launch isn’t assured.

“No guarantee that that’s the case, but that is the goal,” Cooper added.

“You gotta make sure … that everyone is complying with the law and the state’s getting its right amount of revenue. They’re working on it as fast as they can. I had them all in the room over there the other day, pushing them, saying we’ve gotta get this done as quickly as we can.”

Gov. Cooper: ‘Rule-Making Has to Work’

Regarding the delay, Cooper highlighted the legislative process surrounding sports betting in North Carolina. He explained that while the initial legislation was passed, subsequent adjustments made by the general assembly compelled the North Carolina Lottery Commission to revisit and revise certain aspects.

He emphasized the importance of meticulous rule-making, stressing the need for accuracy and effectiveness in the system’s implementation.

“They passed this legislation, and then the general assembly came back and made some adjustments to it, which the lottery commission says has caused them to go back and have to redo some things,” Cooper said. “This rule-making has to work. You got to make sure that it is working right.”

He also spoke about the need to ensure precise revenue sharing and how imperative it is for all involved parties to comply with the law. Emphasizing the urgency of the process, he reiterated the commission’s dedication, noting they are working diligently to advance the initiative.

Multiple North Carolina Sports Betting Partnerships Secured

Fanatics Betting and Gaming has recently emerged as one of the operators to access the North Carolina market. This sportsbook solidified its position through a strategic partnership with the Carolina Hurricanes, ensuring a secured pathway to penetrate and operate within the state’s wagering landscape.

bet365 North Carolina secured its position as the official sports betting partner of the Charlotte Hornets in November. Simultaneously, FanDuel broadened its alliance with the PGA Tour, extending their partnership.

Penn Entertainment and ESPN BET solidified a multi-year strategic collaboration with Quail Hollow Club earlier this month.

This landmark agreement designates ESPN BET as the official sports betting partner for the esteemed Wells Fargo Championship, a prominent PGA Tour Signature event held in Charlotte.

About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with over four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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