North Carolina Officially Legalizes Online Sports Betting

online betting in north carolina

If you live in North Carolina and have been waiting for online sports betting to be legalized so you can get in on the action, the wait is over!

Mobile and online sports betting in North Carolina kicked off on Monday, with scores of authorized gambling operators beginning to accept those bets.

This exciting move comes nine months after the state passed legislation to allow it, and a multitude of prominent sports betting companies and their partners celebrated the launch with special events, marking North Carolina’s entry as the 30th state, alongside the District of Columbia, to introduce mobile sports betting, as reported by the American Gaming Association.

Within the state, those who have registered can now place bets on professional, collegiate, or Olympic-style sports events.

“North Carolina is a state that we’ve been really dying to get into for a couple of years now,”

said DraftKings Chief Commercial Officer Jeremy Elbaum at a NASCAR Hall of Fame public event in Charlotte, where retired Carolina Panthers player Greg Olsen placed a ceremonial first digital wager.

“The way the sports calendar works here, the love for college, the love for NASCAR specifically and obviously the other major sports, has made this a key state for us.”

Several weeks ago, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, tasked by the June 2023 legislation to regulate and license the gaming operators, declared that betting through mobile devices and computers would start at noon on Monday. The timing of this launch, right before the highly anticipated Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament, is music to the ears of sports fans.

Governor Roy Cooper

Gov. Roy Cooper, a self-described NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes super fan and the official who enacted the sports betting legislation passed by the General Assembly, told attendees that he bet on the team to bring home the Stanley Cup later this year—he’ll be donating any winnings from this bet to the team’s charitable foundation.

“The legalization of sports betting will provide a significant boost to North Carolina’s economy and will allow our thriving sports industry to continue to grow,”

Cooper said in a video that was pre-recorded and played at the event, of the governor walking onto the ice at the team’s PNC Arena in Raleigh.

The commission named the first eight betting license holders on February 29, and they started registering and accepting accounts for people who are 21 or older and took in money deposits. This meant the residents have been bombarded with ads on TV and social media from these gambling operators, who are offering lots of attractive deals to draw in new customers.

Besides DraftKings, the first round of sports betting licenses was awarded to BetMGM and Underdog Sports Wagering, along with FanDuel Sportsbook, Fanatics Sportsbook, bet365, and ESPN BET. Caesars Sportsbook also got a license—notable for its affiliation with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and its existing operations of in-person sports betting at the tribe’s two casinos in western North Carolina.

All eight license holders were operational by Monday, according to the lottery commission. A modification made to the 2023 law requires that most companies seeking an interactive wagering license must secure a partnership with a local professional sports team or specific professional golf or auto racing venues or their governing bodies. For instance, DraftKings is partnered with NASCAR, while Fanatics Sportsbook has teamed up with the Hurricanes.

And the legislation permits on-site betting at any future sportsbooks, but they have to be situated in or around major sports or racing events’ venues. The commission has said that these facilities will launch one by one as operators fulfill the necessary criteria. The law also includes clauses that empower the commission to oversee betting on horse racing and to establish regulations for live horse racing, with plans to put these into effect down the line.

The law imposes an 18% tax on sports betting, calculated from the gross revenue generated by betting after subtracting the winnings paid out. An analysis by the legislative branch estimates that these revenues could surpass $100 million per year within a five-year period!

The government’s share will go in part to athletic departments at 13 University of North Carolina system schools, amateur and youth sporting events and gambling addiction education and treatment programs. And all licensees have put an emphasis on the “responsible gaming” features on their betting apps—which is a must-have for those who want to practice responsible gambling.

The tax revenue will also help set up a fund that will be dedicated to drawing major events to North Carolina, from music festivals to sports tournaments. Exciting stuff, all around!

Alyssa Waller Avatar
Alyssa Waller

Alyssa contributes sportsbook/online casino reviews, but she also stays on top of any industry news, precisely that of the sports betting market. She’s been an avid sports bettor for many years and has experienced success in growing her bankroll by striking when the iron was hot. In particular, she loves betting on football and basketball at the professional and college levels.