Everything You Need To Know About Sports Betting Launch in North Carolina

If you’re wondering whether or not sports betting is legal in North Carolina — the short answer is yes. However, it’s a little more complicated than that. While sports betting is legal, online betting remains prohibited until at least January 2024.

As of November 2023, there are only three retail locations in North Carolina where you can place a sports bet. Under the current law, sports betting is only permitted in casinos, and the three tribal Casinos – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and the Catawba Two Kings Casino in King’s Mountain, situated to the west of the state capital, Charlotte.

North Carolina Sports Betting – Latest Updates

With the state of North Carolina readying to kick off its licensing process for online sportsbooks in 2024, the state authorities are working hard to set things in motion to facilitate a smooth transition to legal status. Here are some of the latest updates on the launch of legal North Carolina (NC) sportsbooks:

  • October 18, 2023 – An initial draft of sports betting rules is released by North Carolina regulators. The rules include banning Daily Fantasy Sports pick’em contests that function like prop bets. The rule set remained open to comment until November 1, 2023.
  • November 2, 2023 – Representatives, PrizePicks, and Underdog pushed back against state lawmakers for the proposed ban on pick’em contests.
  • November 8, 2023 – A new draft of rules to govern online betting in the state gets published by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission.
  • November 14, 2023 – North Carolina regulators indicate that online sports betting may not be on track for launch on January 8, 2023. The regulators should have mentioned a revised timeline for launch.
  • November 17, 2023 – The North Carolina State Lottery Commission finalizes the first set of sports betting rules. Revisions to the original draft included a pause in banning Daily Fantasy Sports Products and un-banning pick’em style games and prop bets.
  • The Charlotte Hornets signed a deal with bet365 to become the state’s official sports betting partner. This historic agreement is the first deal between a sports team and a sportsbook in the state.

North Carolina Sports Betting Law

Rep. Jason Saine filed sports betting bill HB 347 in the North Carolina General Assembly on March 13, 2023. The bill then spent some time moving back and forth between the House and the Senate while being subject to various revisions. Finally, Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law on June 14, 2023.

Here are the key highlights of the potential future of sports betting in North Carolina:

  • The state will permit the operation of up to 12 legal online sportsbooks and eight retail sportsbooks at state sports venues. Each license will cost $1 million in fees and a commitment to pay 18% in taxes.
  • North Carolina operators will be prohibited from deducting promotional credits from revenue.
  • Different sports venues will partner with other operators to stimulate competition among the various sportsbooks set to launch in the state. The sports venues that have been targeted include NBL and NHL arenas, an NFL stadium, PGA courses, and NASCAR circuits.
  • According to projections, North Carolina sportsbooks will likely make $6.8 billion in sports bets by the second year of legalization, leading to an estimated $610 million in revenue for the state.
  • To legally place a bet in North Carolina, bettors need to be 21 years or older.
  • College sports betting will be legal for wagers on in-state and out-of-state schools.

How To Bet in North Carolina

Online sports betting apps will only be permitted to launch after January 8, 2024. However, this deadline may be revised based on delays in the legal machinery. Until the online sportsbooks arrive, North Carolina residents have three options to place sports wagers in the state.

The three retail sportsbook locations are Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and the Catawba Two Kings Casino.

Bet Types in North Carolina

Regardless of whether it’s online or at a physical venue, you can expect to try your hand at several of the most popular bet types. The easiest bet to enter is the outright bet, where you pick which team or player you think will win a contest. Similarly, you can enter a moneyline wager to pick one based on the odds available.

For example, if the 49ers are a -200 favorite against the Seahawks, you’d have to bet $200 to win $100 on the 49ers. If the 49ers are a +200 underdog, then you’d stand to win $200 by wagering $100. You can also try futures bets in North Carolina, where you can wager on events set to take place soon. Some other bet types to try out include point spreads, player props, team props, and over/under bets.

Potential Future North Carolina Sportsbooks

With only 12 licenses up for grabs, the country’s best sportsbooks are all vying for a slice of the North Carolina sports betting market. While it’s impossible to predict which online platforms will finally launch in the state, we can make some well-informed guesses based on industry reports.

  • bet365 – bet365 has struck a historic deal with the Charlotte Hornets as the team’s official sportsbook partner. This almost certainly guarantees a launch in the state.
  • Caesars – Caesars Sportsbook already has one foot in the door as two of the state’s three existing retail sportsbooks are run by Caesars.
  • DraftKings – DraftKings has built a strong brand presence in North Carolina as the region’s premier Daily Fantasy Sports provider. DraftKings also has a history of being among the first sportsbooks to launch in areas where betting is newly legalized.
  • FanDuel – like DraftKings, FanDuel is a Daily Fantasy Sports platform currently competing with the former in the state. Its presence in North Carolina will help make its eventual launch in the state a reality.

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About the Author
Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro covers the sports betting industry and revenue reporting at Gaming Today. Much of his work analyzes state revenue information, including betting activity and revenue for individual states and sportsbook operators. In addition, Nikhil provides news updates on the gambling industry itself, including product launches and legal issues. Nikhil’s previous experience includes five years with ESPN.

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