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In first full month, bettors wager $649m in North Carolina

| By Jill R. Dorson
On Friday (17 May) the North Carolina State Lottery issued its first full-month legal online sports betting report. Bettors in the state wagered nearly $649m in April and gross gaming revenue (GGR) was $105.3m.
north carolina april revenue

Operators went live in North Carolina on 11 March, ahead of the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Consumers wagered $659.3m during the three-week span in the opening month. But during that time, three North Carolina teams – Duke, NC State and UNC – were all playing in March Madness. Across the US, sports betting handle often dips in April, after the NCAA’s marquee event comes to a close.

Operators had a higher hold in April versus March, paying out $538.4m in winnings on the $649m handle versus $590.8m on $659.3m handle in March. North Carolina taxes digital operators at 18% of GGR, but the state did not release a number for tax revenue.

Promos down

Promotional betting dropped significantly in April, according to the report. Operators wrote off $79.7m in promos for the month versus $202.6m in March. Historically, operators offer the biggest and most competitive promotions at launch.

The lottery does not break down its revenue numbers by operator or sport. On 11 March, eight platforms went live, including all of the major operators. Underdog Sports made its wagering debut in North Carolina and Bet365 went live in its 10th state.

BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, ESPN Bet, DraftKings, Fanatics and FanDuel all went live on the same day. Operators in North Carolina are required to be tethered to professional sports venues or tribal casinos. There are two tribal casinos in the state and Caesars is the only live operator tethered to a tribe (Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise Cherokee).

Law could be tweaked sooner than later

Less than two months in, North Carolina lawmakers are already looking to tweak the new sports betting law. The Tar Heel State is among those considering a ban on college-player prop bets. In addition, Governor Roy Cooper is calling on lawmakers to allow bettors to write losses off on their taxes.

Both bills are still in committee. North Carolina’s legislative session opened on 24 April, significantly later than most others. It is set to close on 31 July.

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