The leading US sportsbook has found its online NC sports betting partner.
A FanDuel spokesperson confirmed with LSR Thursday the sportsbook partnered with the PGA Tour for access to online NC sports betting, first reported by Sports Business Journal. Because of a legislative change in September, sportsbook operators need a written agreement with a professional sports organization to apply for a license in North Carolina.
Operator applications are due December 27, at which point regulators could set a launch date. However, they already ruled out launches by the earliest possible date by law, January 8, 2024, and the Super Bowl. NC sports betting must start by June 14, 2024.
FanDuel ready for NC sports betting
Before the law change, FanDuel planned to apply for direct access to North Carolina and partner with one of two PGA Tour events, according to SBJ. FanDuel President Christian Genetski told SBJ the sportsbook would be ready on day one in North Carolina.
“We have a great relationship with the Tour, and we have every intention of continuing that,” Genetski told SBJ. “Building off of an existing partner made it a pretty easy conversation to get to the parameters of a deal that we were very comfortable with.”
Industry sources pointed toward the PGA Tour, as well as NASCAR and associated facilities in North Carolina as potential reasons for the change in law. NASCAR denied direct involvement.
FanDuel’s expanding PGA options
As an official sports betting operator of the PGA Tour, FanDuel continues to deepen its relationships with the body. Both NASCAR and the PGA Tour believe expanded betting options can increase fan engagement.
In August, FanDuel announced IMG Arena’s Golf Event Centre would integrate into the sportsbook.
According to FanDuel, the integration helps the sportsbook offer a “robust catalog of live markets that will give them new ways to engage with the sports on every hole.” The bet types include:
- Longest drive
- Closest to the pin
- Hole-by-hole scoring results
- Other shot-by-shot markets
Golf significant in North Carolina
This week, ESPN Bet announced its deal with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship. Quail Hollow will also host the 2025 PGA Championship.
There is another golf course in North Carolina eligible for an access partnership: Sedgefield Country Club.
Sedgefield hosts the PGA’s Wyndham Championship.
Partners open for NC sports betting
In the initial sports betting legislation signed by Gov. Roy Cooper in June, up to 12 sportsbooks could apply for a license, with preference given to operators with sports partnerships. Now, 11 organizations qualify for access partnerships, although that could grow with professional sports expansion in the state.
Last month, Bet365 was the first sportsbook to announce a partner in the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA. At a North Carolina State Lottery Commission committee meeting Wednesday, regulators announced 11 operators requested applications.
The other qualified sports organizations available for partnerships are:
- Charlotte Motor Speedway
- MLS’s Charlotte FC
- NWSL’s NC Courage
- NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes
- NFL’s Carolina Panthers
- North Wilkesboro Speedway