Sports Betting Launches in North Carolina on March 11th

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A general view Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images/AFP.

After waiting months for the North Carolina State Lottery to commit to an online sports betting launch date, North Carolinians finally have a definitive answer. March 11th will be the date when mobile sports betting makes its long-awaited debut in the Tar Heel State.

Let’s review the most recent information and assess its potential significance for the top-rated online sportsbooks.

Just in Time for the Madness

The rumors have been swirling as to when mobile sports betting would go live in North Carolina after Governor Roy Cooper signed HB 347 into law on June 14, 2023.

It’s been a long wait for the bettors in North Carolina and although they will miss the Super Bowl, they now know they will be able to place a legal wager on March Madness which starts on March 19th.

It was no secret that the governor wanted online sports betting sooner than later as he stated following a recent Council of State meeting in Raleigh: “The idea is to try to get it in place before March Madness. There’s a lot going on at the Lottery Commission to make sure that that process goes the right way.”

And it wasn’t long after that comment when NC Lottery Commission Chair Ripley Rand said in a press release last week, “The plan approved today means that North Carolinians will be able to place bets on their favorite teams in many of this year’s college basketball conference tournaments, including men’s tournaments in the ACC, Conference USA, the MEAC, and the AAC, as well as throughout the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments. Bets on sporting events have been made for as long as those events have taken place, but this time they will be legal, they will be done securely and fairly, and they will be made under rules designed to encourage responsible gaming.”

Early registration at each licensed sportsbook begins on March 1st. However, the betting won’t commence until March 11th. Nevertheless, that gives college basketball bettors enough time to get down on conference tournaments followed by the Big Dance.

Who Are the Operators?

Seven online operators and the state’s two tribes bring the online mobile licensees to 9 of a possible 11. While the seven platform providers must align with a sports league, organization, or team that does business in North Carolina, the tribes are exempt from that policy and can go it alone if they wish.

The nine platform provers and their partners (in parentheses) are the following:

  • Bet365 (NBA’s Charlotte Hornets)
  • BetMGM (Charlotte Motor Speedway)
  • DraftKings (NASCAR)
  • ESPN Bet (Quail Hollow Club)
  • Fanatics (NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes)
  • FanDuel (PGA Tour)
  • Underdog (Sedgefield Country Club)
  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (partnered with Caesars)
  • Catawba Two Kings Casino

As for the Catawba Tribe which operates the Two Kings Casino located very near the South Carolina border, a state that has yet to legalize online sports betting, they say they are in search of a sports betting partner despite the fact that they are not obligated to team with one.

“Currently, we are in the process of vetting and choosing a partner for mobile sports betting,” said Tylee Anderson, communications director for the tribe. “We hope to have one chosen within the next few months and are looking forward to launching our new gaming venture.”