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Exciting Times as North Carolina Welcomes Online Sports Betting

In a momentous declaration, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, tasked with the pivotal role of granting both commercial and tribal online sports betting licenses and overseeing their operations, has come forward with an exhilarating announcement this past Thursday. A grand total of eight distinguished sportsbook operators have been given the green light to initiate the process of player registration. In this elite lineup, we find industry titans such as bet365, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Underdog Sports. It’s a remarkable day for sports enthusiasts across the state!

With an exception for Caesars Sportsbook, each of these operators has smartly aligned themselves with either a professional sports team or venue within the state. This strategic alliance has been their ticket to securing an online sportsbook license. Meanwhile, Caesars Sportsbook, with its savvy partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ dual gaming havens, has been facilitating retail sports betting at Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River since 2021, already creating waves in the local market.

Today marks a pivotal moment as the sportsbooks begin the signup process for eager online sports bettors starting from the stroke of noon EST. Potential players can stride into this new era, setting up their accounts and fortifying them with deposits. The registration process is stringent yet fair, requesting individuals to disclose their full name, birth date, a valid mailing address, and their Social Security number or alternative U.S. government identification to ensure utmost integrity and security within the platform. For those interested in reviews and insights on the best online casinos, this comprehensive guide is an invaluable resource.

The countdown is on! The North Carolina State Lottery Commission has set the stage for the eight online sportsbook operators to officially commence operations at noon EST on the 11th of March. This launch is impeccably timed, occurring just one day before the much-anticipated Atlantic Coast Conference men’s basketball tournament kicks off, featuring the state’s pride and joy—the Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels. The excitement is palpable!

Caesars Sportsbook, however, has carved out a unique advantage by virtue of their tribal casino association, which has granted them the privilege to start accepting bets in advance from players located at the two Cherokee casinos or on Cherokee sovereign land. Their eagerness is palpable as Caesars told about the inaugural online wager—a bold $50 placed on the South Alabama Jaguars to beat a 7.5-point spread against the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

Revving Up North Carolina’s Sports Betting Scene

Each of the eight sportsbooks has stepped up, contributing a hefty $1 million licensing fee to the state’s coffers, securing their spot for the next five years. Renewing their presence in 2029 will require an additional $1 million, a small price for a lucrative five-year extension in this rapidly expanding market.

Starting March 11, the online sportsbooks will now be authorized to accept bets covering the full spectrum of professional and collegiate sports, truly a momentous turn for bettors. The state has positioned itself to claim a solid 18% from the gross sports betting revenue of each book, ensuring a sustainable revenue stream.

Focused on nurturing athletic programs, the sports betting tax proceeds will largely empower collegiate sports throughout North Carolina. The state’s Lottery Commission is committed to covering regulatory expenses and earmarking $2 million for combating problem gambling. After these allocations, the remaining funds will be evenly distributed to 13 university athletic programs, each potentially receiving up to $300K annually—an incredible boon for collegiate sports development.

As the sports betting scene matures, North Carolina’s legislative fiscal analysts are optimistic, forecasting an impressive $70 million in annual revenue. These funds, after supporting the colleges, will serve the North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council, allocated for sports-related grants that benefit and inspire youth in sports activities across the state.

A Game Changer: Player Props Permitted

In a contentious move that has raised eyebrows, North Carolina has stood its ground by deciding not to prohibit player props bets on collegiate athletes, much to the NCAA’s dismay. The NCAA, with Charlie Baker at its helm, has vociferously appealed to the few states that still allow wagers on student-athletes’ performances to put an end to such betting practices. It’s a sensitive issue, as numerous college athletes have reported distressing instances of online harassment and verbal abuse.

Ohio took heed of Baker’s concerns last month, directing its sports betting establishments to halt accepting bets on college player performances. With Ohio stepping back and North Carolina stepping in, there are now only six states plus Washington, D.C. where these kinds of wagers are permitted. Joining North Carolina in this controversial stance are Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, and Wyoming, each walking a fine line between the thrill of sports betting and the pressures it may place on young athletes.

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