The Super Bowl is now out of the question for North Carolina sports betting apps, just as it is for the Carolina Panthers.
On Wednesday afternoon, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved an application process its Sports Betting Committee endorsed in a meeting hours earlier. Officials said applications would be available online potentially by the end of this week and that the deadline for submissions will be Dec. 27. Deputy Executive Director for Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting Sterl Carpenter did not give a launch date for online operators, citing several steps still needed to be completed. However, Commission Chairman Ripley Rand followed up with the additional clarification.
“We know people are excited,” Rand said. “One question that I know I have gotten a number of times and I’m sure other commissioners have gotten is whether sports betting will be up and running in time for the Super Bowl. While the commission is committed to making sports betting available in an effective manner as quickly as we can with all the remaining work to be done that, unfortunately, won’t be the case.”
Super Bowl LVIII is set for Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
Earlier this month, Rand indicated that there would be no launch on Jan. 8, the date set in the North Carolina sports betting law as the earliest date any rules and licenses could take effect. The law requires the state lottery to launch sports betting by June 14.
Lottery Calls on Applicants to Hustle
Three application packets were approved by the commission on Wednesday. That included separate forms for operators, service providers and suppliers. It also included disclosure forms for key personnel and attestations for provisional licenses.
Once an applicant submits the required paperwork, lottery staffers will review it to determine if it’s complete. If so, a 60-day review process begins. If not, applicants, in most cases, will have 10 days to rectify any issues. Background checks tied to potential licensees will begin after their applications are deemed complete.
Carpenter said application forms will be available at NCGaming.gov, possibly by Friday and no later than Monday. He and Rand made it clear that the ball is in the operators’ court with how quickly the process can move.
“Some key steps are dependent on our sports betting industry,” Carpenter said. “While commission staff are reviewing the application, it is vital for the operators to work on completing and submitting their internal controls, demonstrating compliance with all of our sports betting rules.”
Rand indicated that a go-live date for North Carolina online sports betting could be announced sometime after the Dec. 27 deadline. Applications submitted after that date would not be eligible to launch on the first day statewide wagering is allowed.
Is a March Madness Launch Possible?
With the 2024 Super Bowl scratched off the North Carolina sports betting calendar, all eyes in the gaming industry will turn to the next big sporting event – the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA will announce the field for the 68-team tournament on March 17. Four early-round games will be played on March 19-20, with March Madness underway in full swing on March 21.
Based on the 60-day review window, an application submitted on the deadline would have its review completed no later than Feb. 24. That happens to fall on a Saturday.
For perspective, Kentucky made sports betting applications available on July 11. Temporary licenses were approved on Aug. 22. Retail sportsbooks opened on Sept. 7, with online operators starting on Sept. 28.
Each state’s review process is different. Kentucky’s process included completing background checks and state regulators there could offer a temporary license to applicants operating in at least three states and submitted a suitable application.
So, it appears there would be a chance for operators to be up and running in North Carolina in time for the Big Dance. BetCarolina.com will continue to provide updates on this story as well as the best NC sportsbook promos.