People in North Carolina are trying to access online sports betting sites in nearby states where they've been legalized.
That’s according to Vancouver-based GeoComply Solutions Inc. The company, which helps operators determine the location of bettors, recently shared data related to North Carolina sports betting with Covers for a period of time that coincided with the National Football League’s 2022-23 season, which was also the busy season for bookmakers.
GeoComply’s numbers show there were more than 1.75 million attempts from within North Carolina to access legal sports betting apps in other markets from Sept. 8, 2022 (the start of the NFL regular season), to Feb. 12, 2023 (Super Bowl Sunday). Those ultimately blocked transactions stemmed from nearly 166,000 unique player accounts, GeoComply said.
Most of the attempts made by North Carolinians to access legal sportsbooks were aimed at nearby Virginia, as 55.13% of the transactions were trying to access mobile sites in the Old Dominion.
GeoComply even tracked 116 transactions during Super Bowl weekend in which someone tried to access a Virginia sportsbook from North Carolina, found they were blocked, hopped in the car, crossed state lines, and successfully logged on to the site when they reached Virginia soil. There were 5,422 of those types of transactions during the NFL season, GeoComply added.
Yesterday, history was made ????— GeoComply (@GeoComply) February 13, 2023
1?? #SuperBowlLVII took place in a state with legal sports betting for the first time
2?? We hit a record of 100 million geolocation checks over the weekend!
Read all our Super Bowl #sportsbetting insights here ???? https://t.co/eXakMfZ17n
The numbers from GeoComply suggest there is demand in North Carolina for legal online sports betting. They also come as lawmakers in North Carolina are expected to take another run at bringing online sports betting to the state after a failed attempt in 2022.
While there is legal sports betting in North Carolina at tribal casinos, most event wagering in the U.S. is done via the internet, which would almost certainly be the case if the Tar Heel State legalized mobile sportsbooks as well.
However, demand for online sports betting in a state does not guarantee it will ever be legal there. GeoComply recently provided similar geolocation data about Georgia, where lawmakers were weighing legal sports betting before a lack of progress killed the effort.