iGaming and Sports Betting Industry News

North Carolina Sports Betting Sets Launch Date

The North Carolina State Lottery has finally announced the launch date for online sports betting in the state, and it ended months of speculation and rumors. Online sports betting will officially launch at noon on March 11th, but there is still some work to be done before that point. 

Potential sports bettors in North Carolina don’t have to wait until that date to start getting things ready to go as registration will begin on March 1st. This means that sportsbooks will miss out on the entire football season, but betting will be available for the entirety of the NCAA Tournament. 

The North Carolina sports betting law has already legalized betting on collegiate sporting events, and that will help the state get off to a strong start. Teams like the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils will be popular picks when things get going. 

Big Options Available 

When sports betting officially launches in the state, there are going to be plenty of terrific sports betting options for bettors. Online sports betting licenses were available to companies that were able to partner with a professional sports organization. 

There are 11 total licenses available through partnerships with professional sports teams, and the two Native American tribes can also offer online sports betting. Seven of the 11 licenses have already been handed out through partnerships, but it’s unclear if that number will grow prior to launch date. 

The names of confirmed sports betting operators are impressive already, and they include:

It’s expected that DraftKings and FanDuel are going to emerge as the leaders in the state, but ESPN BET has gotten off to a great start in other markets. There are still four other organizations looking for a partner, including the Carolina Panthers of the NFL. 

Been a Long Journey

North Carolina is a state that has had sports betting for a few years, but all of those options have been at commercial casinos in the state. Since the tribes were not bringing in a ton of additional revenue to the state, lawmakers wanted to legalize online sports betting. 

Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill to legalize online sports betting in June 2023, but it took awhile before progress really started. September of 2023 is when things really started to fall in place, and later the law was amended to include language that tied sports betting to professional sports betting organizations.

Regulators are now working to ensure that the March launch goes off without a hitch. With some licenses still available as well, the the North Carolina Lottery will continue to go through the applicants. 

Georgia Moving Forward?

This news from North Carolina wasn’t the only big industry news this week as lawmakers in Georgia are also working to get sports betting up and running. Georgia is a state that has explored sports betting in the past, but there is more optimism this time around. 

A new bill was introduced this week, and it would make sports betting a lottery game. That is a key definition as it wouldn’t require the issue to be put up in front of the voters in November, as it’s unclear how they would go. 

This new bill would also set up a massive sports betting market in the state as there could be up to 16 licenses available. Even though sports betting would be tied to the lottery, this is a market that many sportsbook operators would love to enter. 

Lawmakers are hoping to increase support by tying online sports betting revenue to the education system in the state. The tax rate would be reasonable at just 15%, but that would still lead to a ton of new revenue for the state. 

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