The date has been set for the new era of North Carolina sports betting. On Wednesday, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission announced that legalized statewide sports betting in the Tar Heel State will begin on March 11. The vote was unanimous, and registration can begin on March 1.
That date will allow licensed North Carolina sports betting operators to begin taking bets in time for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, which gets underway on March 19.
“With this proposed authorization, we are telling the public that we are ready for sports wagering. Now, it is up to our operator applicants to show us that they can meet the requirements set by our General Assembly and by this commission,” Deputy Executive Director for Gaming Compliance and Sports Wagering Sterl Carpenter said.
With bettors able to register for accounts as soon as March 1, operators still must have received their certificate of compliance by that date in order to accept new account holders.
“New players can also begin to make deposits into their accounts on that day, so they are ready for the first day of wagering,” Carpenter added. “The registration and enrollment period before the beginning of authorized betting gives players time to familiarize themselves with the approved applications for sports betting platforms. For example, they can look at who offers the best interface, they can look at the most favorable terms, terms and ease of use for their responsible gaming features.”
March Madness Key In Legislation Timeline
It’s been expected for weeks that North Carolina officials would try to launch NC betting apps in time for March Madness. Under House Bill 347, the earliest date possible for a launch was Jan. 8. However, lottery officials made it known in November that sports betting apps would not open in time for the Super Bowl.
Gov. Roy Cooper, in recent weeks, has mentioned the tournament as the goal. Men’s college basketball is incredibly popular in the state, with North Carolina and Duke ranked among the top teams in the country. The NCAA Tournament also happens to be one of the most popular wagering events for gamblers in the U.S.
Operators Still Must Be Approved
Seven operators submitted their applications before the lottery’s recommended Dec. 27 deadline in order to be in a position to take North Carolina sports betting wagers on launch day. Those applicants, who must still be approved, are: bet365, BetMGM North Carolina, DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics, FanDuel and Underdog Sports.
Caesars, which operates two casinos and sportsbooks in western North Carolina for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, also filed for a service provider license. Both EBCI and the Catawba Nation, which also operates a tribal casino in the state, have applied for operator licenses.
According to the lottery’s plan, North Carolina online sports betting apps will be the first to launch. Besides being approved for a license, operators will also need to receive a certificate of compliance from the commission that indicates they can abide by the state’s rules and regulations.
Retail sportsbooks at arenas, stadiums, racetracks and golf courses will be allowed to open at a later date. The tribal casinos already host brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
BetCarolina.com is your source for the latest information on North Carolina sportsbook promos for all the apps to be approved across the state.