North Carolina Online Sports Betting Won’t Be Live By the Super Bowl

North Carolina Lottery Commission takes major step in determining live sports betting date, gunning for pre-March Madness.

Nov 29, 2023 • 16:10 ET • 4 min read
Super Bowl LVIII Las Vegas
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North Carolina took a major step in determining a date that legal sports betting will go live in the Tar Heel State. 

The N.C. Lottery Commission unanimously approved on Wednesday the sports wagering license application process, which will be open for sportsbook operators, providers, and suppliers as early as Friday. 

It could take until Monday at the latest to get the online submission process live on the site, but the sports betting committee is asking interested parties to apply by Dec. 27.

The commission will need 60 days for vetting and licensing, giving North Carolina bettors a clearer timeline on when online wagering will become available. 

Commission member Ripley Rand confirmed that sports betting won’t be live by the Super Bowl, but based on the application dates, wagering could be active in time for March Madness. 

“Approving applications is a major step forward,” Rand said. “We look forward to being able to announce (a date).”

In a basketball-centric state, it makes sense that the commission will make every attempt to be live for college basketball tournaments and the final two months of the NBA season. 

Amendments of the day

Before presenting the licensing approval process to the commission, the sports betting committee approved amendments that included the rephrasing of technical terms as well as accepting online submissions only through the sports betting license portal. 

The committee agreed it can issue provisional licenses, which come with several requirements and stipulations, while it completes background checks. 

Let the process begin

The commission is expecting hundreds of applications, so they’re urging operators to complete the process thoroughly and quickly to get up and running as soon as possible to begin the background checks. 

The timeline will be determined by the vetting process and sports betting partnerships with pro teams and facilities being approved in a timely manner, as well as applicants submitting internal controls accurately to comply with North Carolina’s rules. 

What's next?

The legal sports betting bill that was signed into law in June by Gov. Roy Cooper states that sports betting becomes legal on Jan. 8, 2024, but that starting date was rejected by the sports betting committee earlier this month. 

The committee also put on hold a ruling on fantasy sports in an effort to speed up the rest of the going-live process.  

Another meeting is scheduled for Dec. 6 to review public recommendations of the second rules proposal. The first set of rules, along with a sports wagering catalog, was approved on Nov. 16 and will go into effect on Jan. 8.

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