Online NC Sports Betting Rules Finalized, Operator Licenses Next

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NC sports betting

A final online NC sports betting rulemaking step is done as North Carolina regulators push toward a 2024 launch. 

At a Wednesday meeting, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved a second set of rules for online NC sports betting. Now, regulators are set to tackle operator applications, due December 27. The commission was also informed Wednesday that there are 14 operators potentially applying for licenses, three more than can gain access in the state.

Sterl Carpenter, NC Lottery deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting, did not provide an update on a potential launch date. Previously, Carpenter informed the Sports Betting Advisory Committee a debut would not occur in time for Super Bowl betting, but NC sports betting must launch by June 14, 2024 according to state law.

North Carolina partners lining up

Carpenter said 14 sportsbook operators requested applications. Because of a legislative change to the signed and settled sports betting law in September, operators need a written agreement with a professional sports organization in the state.

Eleven organizations qualify to provide a written agreement. The organizations, with known partners listed:

No major NC sports betting rule changes

The NC Lottery closed its public comment period for the second package of rules November 27. The Sports Betting Advisory Committee approved the rules last week, inserting a rule that marketing affiliates cannot use net sports betting revenue as a compensation method.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the commission stripped out the affiliate rule, explaining staff needs more time to look at the issue. Other minor changes made last week were approved, including deleting the prohibition on sportsbook operators securing stadium naming rights.

The commission adopted the first rules package last month. Similar to the affiliate rule, commissioners removed a daily fantasy sports rule for further consideration to help streamline the process and launch sports betting quicker.

Carolina sports betting ramping up

After Gov. Roy Cooper signed sports betting into law in June, the NC Lottery hired Carpenter to lead the regulatory process.

Despite his hiring, regulators accomplished little before the legislative change in September. Once the alteration was complete, however, the process sped up, with Wednesday’s rule approval the latest step.

Regulators said a launch date might be announced following the December 27 application deadline. Industry sources feel a rollout in time for March Madness betting is likely.