The first domino in North Carolina sports betting fell Friday as Bet365 announced a deal with the Charlotte Hornets to become the “Official Mobile Sports Betting Partner” of the NBA franchise.
The British-based sports betting operator now has five partnerships with professional sports teams. Its other deals are with the Washington Commanders (NFL), San Antonio Spurs (NBA), Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Guardians (both MLB).
“Everyone at bet365 is thrilled to partner with the Hornets as we launch our iconic sports betting brand in North Carolina,” a Bet365 spokesperson said. “The Hornets’ rich and dynamic history is deep rooted in the Queen City community, and we’re abuzz to become part of their exciting future.”
The partnership takes effect immediately. Fans and viewers will begin to see Bet365 logos on the courtside aprons at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte beginning with Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, which is also part of the NBA’s in-season tournament. Bet365 officials certainly will be rooting for the Hornets’ playoff chances.
Team Partner Needed in North Carolina
In June, North Carolina lawmakers passed House Bill 347 to legalize sports betting across the state. Then, in September, lawmakers revised the new law through the budget bill. Among the biggest changes dealt with the number of licenses available. Rather than allowing the Lottery Commission to approve up to a dozen operators, the budget changed that provision to require the commission to permit only ones that have “a written designated agreement” with a qualified entity, such as an in-state major professional sports team.
Jacob Gallagher, chief revenue officer for Hornets Sports and Entertainment, said the company was excited to partner with Bet365.
“Since the day Gov. Cooper signed sports wagering into law at Spectrum Center in June, we sought a partner that would help us provide our fans with new, additional opportunities to engage with their favorite sports teams,” Gallagher said. “We are confident that Bet365 is a great fit with our organization and can help us do that.”
When sports betting becomes legal in 2024, look for a Bet365 North Carolina promo code.
Bet365 is licensed and operational in six U.S. states – Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia – but has a large international presence. It can accept 22 currencies and touts a customer base of 90 million globally, with websites and apps available in 22 different languages. The operator claims to offer a premium in-game betting experience, with markets available on approximately 80 sports.
While it’s been somewhat of a late entrant into the American market, Bet365 is looking to compete with the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM and Caesars, as well as with well-funded newcomers ESPN BET North Carolina and Fanatics, for market share.
In Ohio, where it launched in January along with the other established brands, Bet365 has emerged as the No. 4 operator in handle and revenue. In September, it took $41.9 million in wagers in the state, a market share of 6.2%, and earned $5.9 million in revenue, 7.4% of the revenue earned by Ohio operators. However, it also has offered a significant amount of promotional offers. According to the Ohio Casino Control Commission, Bet365 gave customers $8.2 million in credits. That represented 15.5% of the credits offered by the 20 licensed operators in Ohio in September.