NC Sports Betting Regulators Release Initial Financials

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NC sports betting

Promotional spending outpaced actual wagering during the first 12 hours of online NC sports betting on March 11, according to information from state officials.

Regulators released the initial online NC sports betting figures during a state lottery commission meeting Wednesday. Operators offered up $12.4 million in bonus bets between noon and midnight on March 11, the day online North Carolina sports betting launched.

Bettors staked $11.6 million of their own money during that timeframe. Sportsbook operators generated $11 million in revenue during their first day of operations.

First week of NC sports betting details

During the first seven days, which included college basketball conference tournament betting, Tar Heel State bettors sent $116.8 million through the sports betting apps.

They also took advantage of an additional $81.3 million in free bets during the state’s opening week of legal online sports betting.

North Carolina sportsbooks paid out $141.6 million in winning bets that week. Regulators contributed much of the winnings to the success of the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University during the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament that week.

March Madness provides boost

March Madness betting tipped off during the second week of NC sports wagering, which boosted activity.

According to geolocation service provider GeoComply, there were 743,000 unique active player accounts between March 21 and March 24. It was a 56% spike compared to the same four-day period during launch week.

State regulators did not release sports betting figures beyond the first week of operations.

NC sports betting projections

During Wednesday’s meeting, Sterl Carpenter, NC Lottery deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting, projected $594.3 million between handle and promotional play during the first month. However, he cautioned that the initial bonus offerings will likely subside in the weeks ahead.

Carpenter was also hesitant to share any firm tax revenue projections to the state from March wagering.

LSR projects online North Carolina sports betting could produce $7 billion in handle in the market’s first 12 months. The state plans to collect upwards of $65 million in tax revenue.

Comparison to a similar state launch

In comparing the North Carolina launch to other states, Carpenter pinpointed the Massachusetts sports betting market, citing similar population and timing.

Massachusetts opened its online market in March 2023 in time for March Madness. The Bay State topped $548.2 million in online handle during its first month.