North Carolina issues eight online sports betting licenses

With less than two weeks until online sports betting launches in the state, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission has awarded eight interactive sports betting licenses to operators.

Sports betting will launch in North Carolina on March 11th. This came after the state’s governor, Roy Cooper, signed House Bill 347 into law last year.

Approved licensees include the likes of FanDuel and DraftKings. Fanatics, Bet365, BetMGM, ESPN Bet and Underdog will also launch in the state.

Operators seeking approval to offer sports betting in the state were required to partner with a North Carolina sports team, league or venue. This led to a flood of business as operators tried to secure entry into the state.

For example, DraftKings partnered with stock car racing series Nascar, while BetMGM partnered with upstate Charlotte Motor Speedway. ESPN Bet gained access to North Carolina by signing a major PGA Tour deal and becoming the official betting operator of the Wells Fargo Championship, which is played in the state.

Probably the least known brand to launch is Underdog. North Carolina is the first sports betting license after the company expanded its position as a paid fantasy sports operator. He achieved this thanks to a partnership with McConnell Golf.

Caesars Entertainment, meanwhile, signed a tribal contract, expanding its relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI). However, since the EBCI is still waiting for approval as an operator, Caesars has only received a service provider license.

Initially, only seven operators were included on the Commission’s approved list. However, later on Thursday, an EBCI company called Tribal Gaming Casino Enterprise was added. EBCI already offers land-based sports betting at its casinos in Cherokee and Murphy.

11 March is the big day for sports betting in North Carolina

Players in North Carolina can register and begin depositing starting March 1 (Friday) at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Companies that received licenses to operate sports betting before March 11 include GeoComply, SBTech and Sportradar.

Earlier this month, the commission approved a voluntary self-exclusion program for North Carolina residents. It is part of the NC Problem Gambling Program, which provides gambling harm prevention, education and services. House Bill 347 would allocate an additional $2 million (£1.6 million/€1.9 million) per year to the program to expand it.

Players can submit a voluntary self-exclusion registration form on the Commission’s website. Players can choose to self-exclude for one year, three years, five years or for life. After this, players will no longer be able to place bets online, at a sportsbook or on horses. Any winnings that arise will be paid out.

North Carolina will become the 30th US state to offer online sports betting. The tax was set at 18% of each license holder’s gross gaming revenue. This was previously 14%, but was later changed in the Senate.

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