Axios Raleigh

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March 26, 2024

Greetings, readers. It's Tuesday.

⛅️ Weather: Mostly cloudy with a high around 67Β°.

πŸ™ Thanks to our dedicated members. You too can support our local reporting team by becoming a member.

Today's Smart Brevityℒ️ count is 773 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: πŸ’° Cashing in on sports betting

A DraftKings advertisement on a light rail train in Charlotte earlier this month. Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

Sports gambling advertisements have taken over billboards, airwaves and social media in North Carolina in the last few weeks, promising hundreds of free dollars to first-time users.

Why it matters: Now that sports betting is legal, North Carolinians can wager on all kinds of sports using the promos companies are offering to woo residents.

Driving the news: Axios Charlotte's Alexandria Sands signed up for several of the legal operators in the state, winning thousands of dollars across various apps using sign-on bonuses and referral codes and barely any of her own money.

  • It felt like she had cracked the code for free money, Alex writes.
  • But several experts say, despite the free upfront money, FanDuel, DraftKings and other operators are banking on users losing more money than they make in the long run.
  • In business talk, this measurement is called "customer lifetime value."

πŸ€” Reality check: "The smartest thing you could do right now is pull out all your money and never think about this again," said David Bockino, director of Elon's media analytics program.

Full story: I've won $3K on sports betting apps in one week, and frankly I'm insulted

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2. Photo ID kept similar number of Republicans, Democrats from voting

Voters cast their ballots at a polling station inside the Adamsville Baptist Church in Goldsboro, North Carolina, on March 5. Photo: Allison Joyce/Bloomberg via Getty Images

North Carolina's new voter ID law did not appear to have a widespread effect on voters who showed up to the polls on March 5, an analysis from WFAE found.

Why it matters: The primary was North Carolina's first statewide election with the requirement pushed by state Republicans for a decade.

  • Democrats argued in court that it would potentially disenfranchise its voters across the state β€” specifically Black voters.

By the numbers: More than 1.8 million people voted, according to state election data.

  • Of those voters, 473 voters' ballots were not counted because they could not produce photo identification.
  • Republican voters made up 174 of those votes, and 171 Democratic votes were not counted.
  • At least 298 white voters didn't have their ballots counted, while 74 Black voters, seven multiracial voters and 10 Asian voters saw their ballots rejected for lack of photo ID, according to state data given to WFAE.
  • The rest did not disclose their racial background.

Yes, but: It remains unclear how many voters may not have gone to the polls at all because of the photo ID requirement, WFAE reporter Steve Harrison told NPR's "All Things Considered."

Go deeper with WFAE

3. The Tea: Fixing dangerous railroad crossings

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

πŸ›€οΈ Durham will use a federal grant to study how to improve three dangerous railroad crossings in East Durham. (News & Observer πŸ”’)

A manhunt took place in Apex Monday after a woman was killed by her ex-boyfriend at her job. (WRAL)

πŸ€– Two news publications called the Chapel Hill Insider and Cary Spotlight β€” which launched in February β€” appear to be part of a network of completely AI-generated newsletters. (Triangle Blog Blog)

πŸ€ In 1961, UNC and NC State basketball players were caught up in gambling scandals, prompting then-UNC system president Bill Friday to roll back scholarships at UNC and State and to kill the Dixie Classic tournament. (The Assembly)

  • 60 years later, the state has gone all-in on sports gambling.

🍺 Crooked Hammock Brewery, a Delaware-based beer maker, is planning a location at 4501 Edwards Mill Road in Raleigh. (Triangle Business Journal πŸ”’)

4. Raleigh's Seaboard Station development lands 2 new restaurants

The Signal apartments were part of the first phase of development at Seaboard Station. Photo: Courtesy of Hoffman & Associates

Seaboard Station, a large apartment and retail development building in downtown Raleigh, has added two new restaurants.

The latest: Developer Hoffman & Associates said Monday that Omakase by Kai, led by chef James Chung, will open an omakase-style restaurant in the bottom of the future Hyatt House hotel.

  • The 3,000-square-foot eatery is expected to open in August.

Palm Berries, an acai chain started in Denver, North Carolina, will open its first Triangle location in Seaboard, Hoffman added.

  • The 1,300-square-foot store will be the chain's sixth in the state. It is expected to open in December.

The big picture: Washington, D.C.-based Hoffman is betting big on downtown Raleigh, building Seaboard Station along Peace Street and the Union West tower next to Raleigh Union Station.

Read more about the restaurants

5. Raleigh restaurateurs building a rooftop eatery in Durham

A drone shot of the 555 Mangum office building in downtown Durham overlooking Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Photo: Courtesy of JLL

Joel and Charlie Ibarra, the Raleigh brothers behind restaurants like Jose & Sons and Cortez, are opening a rooftop restaurant in Durham called The Lenny.

Why it matters: The Ibarra brothers' eateries, favorites among locals throughout the Triangle, have garnered national attention.

What to expect: The Lenny is expected to open this summer. It'll include a menu of shareable small plates.

  • No specific plates were announced, though the Ibarra brothers' experience is in Latin American cuisine.
  • The cocktail list will be "agave-centric."
  • The Lenny will be at the top of the 555 Mangum building in downtown Durham near Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the real estate company JLL said in a release.

Keep reading

πŸ€ Zachery is eagerly awaiting Thursday and Friday's Sweet 16 games.

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This newsletter was edited by Katie Peralta Soloff and Jen Ashley, and copy edited by Lucia Maher.

Editor's note: A photo caption in yesterday's newsletter was corrected to reflect that the Michigan State player taking the shot is AJ Hoggard (not Jeremy Fears Jr).