Updated Mar 1, 2024 - Sports

Mobile sports betting in North Carolina goes live March 11

Spectrum Center's court decorated to celebrate sports betting.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed HB347 into law legalizing mobile sports betting at Spectrum Center in Uptown last June. Photo: Ashley Mahoney/Axios

Mobile sports betting goes live in North Carolina on Monday, March 11, at noon.

Driving the news: The North Carolina Lottery Commission unanimously approved the start date Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Mobile sports betting will be up and running for the ACC and the NCAA basketball tournaments.

Catch up quick: Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347: Sports Wagering/Horse Racing Wagering into law last June, but that didn't mean people could immediately start legally gambling on their phones.

  • The law gave the NC Lottery Commission a year from the date it was signed to establish a set of ground rules.
  • You can bet on professional, college, electronic and Olympic sports, plus horse racing.

Details: People age 21 and older may establish an account with a licensed operator and deposit funds into said account on their mobile device starting at noon on March 1. They can then place bets 10 days later.

  • Eight companies have received operator licenses: FanDuel, BETMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, bet365, ESPN BET, Underdog Sports Wagering and Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
  • Of note: In-person betting and betting on horse racing will have a different start date. Rules are being drafted for the latter, and the former will be considered on a case-by-case basis, per the commission.

Five of the state's eight sites eligible to have an in-person sports book have announced betting partners — a required step for running an in-person sports betting operation:

  • In the Charlotte area, the Charlotte Hornets (Bet365), Quail Hollow Club (ESPN BET) and Charlotte Motor Speedway (BetMGM) have secured partners. Tepper Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC, has not.
  • Sedgefield Country Club (Underdog Sports) in Greensboro and the Carolina Hurricanes (Fanatics Sportsbook) have, while North Wilkesboro Speedway and WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary have not.
  • Of note: Operators must work with a facility, league or team in order to be considered for a license.

By the numbers: Operators will be taxed at a rate of 18%, which will generate tax revenue for the state.

  • The tax proceeds will go toward supporting youth sports, the NC Department of Health and Human Services, and other causes, according to the state.

Between the lines: Delaying the start of mobile sports betting from Jan. 8 to March meant the state will miss out on tax revenue from the Super Bowl.

Yes, but: Missing the upcoming Super Bowl is not a big deal, UNC Charlotte economics professor Craig Depken tells Axios. Rather, the goal is to create a system for legal sports betting that won't result in lingering problems down the road because authorization was rushed for one NFL cycle.

  • "This one cycle is not that important," Depken says.

The bottom line: "We are telling the public we are ready for sports wagering," Sterl Carpenter, deputy executive director gaming compliance and sports betting, said during the Wednesday meeting.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on Jan. 24, 2024 and was updated on March 1, 2024 to include the approved operators.

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