North Carolina Sports Betting is Live

North Carolina Sports Betting is Live

Today (March 11) is the day online sports betting will go live in North Carolina, with numerous big betting brands set to enter the market immediately. Lawmakers in the state confirmed the launch date in January, with online sports betting launching right away followed by retail in the future. Governor Ray Cooper signaled the intention for sports betting to be legalized by signing House Bill 347 into law in June 2023.

Once the bill was signed, there were a number of requirements that had to be overcome, which laid out a timeline for when betting could go live. Some of these requirements included publishing all of the rules and regulations before January 2024 and live operators accepting bets before June 2024.

Which Operators are Launching in North Carolina?

At the beginning of March, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, who oversee betting in the state, awarded eight interactive sports betting licenses to operators. The lucky eight will be familiar with anybody who has taken any sort of interest in betting in the past.

Currently, BetMGM, bet365, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, FanDuel, Fanatics and Underdog have been given licenses. Several of those operators have stated they will be going live today, including FanDuel, who recently signed a deal with NFL franchise the Carolina Panthers.

DraftKings will also be launching today, which means the betting giants will now have a presence in 27 states across the country, as well as Ontario in Canada. Matt Kalish, DraftKings North America president, said the Tar Heel State has a “passionate fanbase” and was keen to mention the success of the college basketball programs in the past. He said it was an exciting time to be launching legal sports betting in the state and said DraftKings will offer a “safe and seamless sports betting product”.


Partnerships Must be Secured to Enter Market

Any betting operator wanting to offer sports betting in NC must strike a deal with a league, venue or sports team in the state. Every operator that has been given a license has signed such a deal, with the big two, FanDuel and DraftKings, signing with the Carolina Panthers and NASCAR, respectively.

Fanatics has signed a partnership with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, bet365 has teamed up with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, BetMGM has joined forces with the Charlotte Motor Speedway while ESPN Bet have an agreement with the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship, which is held in North Carolina.

Additionally, Underdog has expanded its deal as a fantasy sports operator with McConelll Golf.

Launch in NC Follows Trial of Tribal Betting

Technically, online sports betting has been available in a limited capacity in North Carolina since last week. Caesars launched its online platform thanks to a partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Bettors have been able to place wagers at two Cherokee owned casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort. Locals are also allowed to bet on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ tribal lands.

The Caesars online sportsbook will now be available throughout North Carolina alongside the others new entrants into the betting market. Caesars has had a retail footprint in the state for a long time.

North Carolina Pro Teams

There are several professional sports teams than call North Carolina home, including the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the NFL‘s Carolina Panthers and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

The Panthers are arguably the most famous team in the state, due to the success of the NFL. They are currently going through a rebuild phase. They have recently hired first-time head coach Dave Canales and he will be looking to steer the team back to the playoffs after some difficult recent years.