Dec 5, 2023 - Business

Charlotte venues push forward with sports betting preparation

The Wells Fargo Championship entrance includes a replica of the trophy.

The Wells Fargo Championship entrance includes a replica of the trophy. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Mobile sports betting may be delayed in North Carolina, but Charlotte venues aren’t wasting time lining up betting partners and securing sponsorship deals.

Catch up quick: Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347: Sports Wagering/Horse Racing Wagering into law in June at Spectrum Center. The law allows you to place sports bets outside of casinos at certain facilities across North Carolina, as well as place bets from mobile devices.

  • Betting will be allowed on professional, college, electronic and Olympic sports, as well as horse racing.

Why it matters: Sports betting isn’t new, but North Carolina is grappling with how to make the most of it as legalization moves forward.

State of play: The measure was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 8, but has been delayed as the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which regulates betting in North Carolina, tries to iron out the details. It will begin in North Carolina by June 15.

Driving the news: Two of North Carolina’s eight facilities allowed to operate in-person sports books have announced betting partners: Quail Hollow Club and Spectrum Center. Organizations must establish partnerships with betting companies in order for said partners to apply for a license to operate in the state, as CBJ reported.

  • Of note: Four of these eight facilities are in the Charlotte area.

Details: PENN Sports Interactive’s ESPN BET, an online sports betting platform, will be the exclusive betting operator of the Wells Fargo Championship, a PGA Tour event which takes place in the spring at Quail Hollow Club. ESPN BET will also be a Wells Fargo Championship sponsor.

  • This is part of a long-term deal PENN announced with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship today. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.
  • “PENN’s compelling online sports betting brand ESPN BET, cutting-edge technology and extensive operational expertise make them an ideal long-term partner for this industry,” Quail Hollow Club president and longtime Charlotte developer Johnny Harris said in a statement.
  • Of note: ESPN BET kicked off in 17 states on Nov. 14.

Spectrum Center: The Hornets became the first entity to partner with a betting company. Bet365, a British firm founded in 2000, will also be a major Hornets sponsor. The deal was announced on Nov. 17.

Bank of America Stadium and Charlotte Motor Speedway: Neither venue has updates at this time, according to spokespeople from Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which operates the stadium where the Panthers and Charlotte FC play, and Speedway Motorsports, whose properties include Charlotte Motor Speedway and North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Zoom out: Other eligible venues include:

  • PNC Arena in Raleigh
  • WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary
  • Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro

What’s next: The state will ultimately accept 12 operators, which may include ESPN BET and/or Bet365. Operators with applications submitted by Dec. 27  would be eligible to begin taking bets when the commission gives the green light, as WRAL reported.

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