BetMGM, DraftKings Find Their North Carolina Sports Betting Partners

BetMGM, DraftKings Find Their North Carolina Sports Betting Partners
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Two more North Carolina sports betting partnership agreements were announced on Friday morning, bringing the total number of those made public up to six.

DraftKings issued a release indicating it secured an access deal with NASCAR. Meanwhile, BetMGM North Carolina reached a deal with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts NACAR’s Coca-Cola 600 and Bank of America ROVAL 400 races each year. Both are subject to the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approving the operators’ sports betting license applications.

BetMGM and DraftKings North Carolina were two of the seven applicants that submitted their license application by the commission’s recommended deadline of Dec. 27. Operators that provided completed applications by that date would be eligible, if approved, to start taking wagers on the first day of North Carolina online sports betting.

That date has yet to be announced, but lottery officials released guidelines on Thursday that operators must meet to offer wagers on the launch date.

Proven Sports Betting Partners

Besides serving as the stock car racing body’s partner in the state, DraftKings will also become NASCAR’s exclusive daily fantasy partner in the U.S. and Canada and will serve as one of its authorized gaming operators.

“DraftKings has a proven track record of enhancing the fan experience across sports,” said Joe Solosky, NASCAR managing director of sports betting, “We are thrilled to continue working with DraftKings to deliver NASCAR fans more engagement opportunities and bring its leading mobile sportsbook to North Carolina.”

Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter called BetMGM “a signature source for sports betting” with a background of successful partnerships in other major league professional sports.

BetMGM is a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Entain.

“With Charlotte Motor Speedway’s history of innovation, we wanted to move forward into this new era of sports entertainment with a progressive sportsbook,” Walter said. “This partnership with BetMGM will bring sports fans new ways to enjoy their favorite events while expanding North Carolina’s tax base, supporting colleges and facilitating recruitment of major events for the future.”

Who Else Remains Available?

Lawmakers passed the North Carolina sports betting law last June. Then, three months later, they amended it to require operators to secure a partnership with one of the state’s major professional teams, one of its golf courses that hosts an annual PGA Tour event, one of its NASCAR racetracks, or with either NASCAR or the PGA Tour.

Some operators interested in a North Carolina license have been critical of the partnership requirement, calling it a barrier to entry, with the teams, venues and governing bodies can request millions of dollars from sportsbooks in exchange for access.

Previous deals announced were bet365 with the Charlotte Hornets, FanDuel with the PGA Tour, Fanatics with the Carolina Panthers, and ESPN BET with Quail Hollow Club.

Underdog Sports is the only applicant that has yet to reveal who its partner will be in North Carolina. Caesars has also filed for a license but will have access through its existing partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Other eligible entities that can offer access deals include the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC of MLS, the NWSL’s NC Courage, North Wilkesboro Speedway and Sedgefield County Club in Greensboro. David Tepper owns the Panthers and Charlotte FC, and Speedway Motor Sports owns the Charlotte and North Wilkesboro tracks.

The lottery will continue to accept applications from operators interested in receiving a North Carolina sports betting license. However, officials will not guarantee that those entities will be approved in time to participate in the initial launch of North Carolina sportsbook apps

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Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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