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Caesars agrees tribal deal to launch online sports betting in North Carolina

| By Kyle Goldsmith
Caesars Entertainment has announced it will launch mobile sports betting in North Carolina after expanding its relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Caesars North Carolina

The operator is set to go live when North Carolina launches its online sports betting market on 11 March. Ahead of the launch, the Caesars Sportsbook app will start accepting sign-ups and deposits from 1 March.

On 24 January, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved the launch date of online sports betting. The market will be live for those aged 21 and over in time for March Madness. Charlotte in North Carolina is set to host some of the tournament’s early-round games.

Caesars already has two land-based locations with the tribe, with Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy. As part of the expanded deal, Caesars will now hold exclusive rights to mobile sports wagering at those two casinos, as well as on Eastern Band of Cherokee tribal lands in western North Carolina.

Eric Hession, president of Caesars Digital, lauded the company’s long relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Hession also spoke of his excitement at what the expanded deal will provide for both parties.

“Our relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has spanned more than two decades,” Hession said.

“Expanding this longstanding partnership allows us to build on the premier sports wagering experience enjoyed at our in-person sportsbooks by bringing a responsible way to enjoy sports at a deeper level to the hands of North Carolinians 21 and older across the state.”

Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, added: “We are excited for this new venture with Caesars Entertainment and the enhancements it provides to our tribal enterprise.

“We look forward to the continued opportunities that will benefit the future of our membership.”

Caesars the latest to make North Carolina move

The launch of North Carolina’s online sports betting market is now less than two months away. Caesars has followed the likes of BetMGM and DraftKings in striking an agreement to allow it to launch.

Operators seeking approval to run sports betting must partner with a sports team, league or venue within North Carolina.

DraftKings announced a partnership with Nascar, becoming the exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of the stock car racing company. BetMGM, meanwhile, agreed a market access deal with Charlotte Motor Speedway in early January. Located in Concord, the complex regularly hosts Nascar racing.

Additionally, Fanatics Betting and Gaming announced a deal with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, while fantasy sports app Underdog will partner with McConnell Golf to support its application for a licence.

ESPN Bet signed a deal to become Quail Hollow Golf Club’s official betting operator. As part of the deal, ESPN Bet became the official betting operator of the Wells Fargo Championship in North Carolina.

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