Online sports betting operators, as well as associated sports betting suppliers and providers, can now submit applications. The North Carolina State Lottery Commission will review any applications put forward.
The approval takes North Carolina a step closer to launching its legal sports betting market. Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law in June, officially legalising wagering.
However, a launch date for the market has not yet been confirmed. Commission chair Ripley Rand said this will depend on a number of factors, primarily how long the application process takes.
Rand said the Commission will need to review all applications and supporting information. It will also need to complete background checks and analyse all internal control details before it can set a launch date.
The Commission has 60 days to review each application and operators have 10 days to make any changes flagged.
Commission still to finalise sports betting rules
The Commission will also need to complete its rulemaking. The state’s Sports Betting Committee instigated the rulemaking process on the proposed rules in October. It also opened a process to accept public comments on the rules, with this having closed on 1 November.
House Bill 347 set out that these rules must be finalised by 8 January next year. With the deadline to launch legal betting 14 June, exactly one year from when the bill passed.
“We know the betting public is very interested in knowing the day that bets can be made in North Carolina,” Rand said. “There are a number of factors in determining what that date will be and only then can we set a date. However, approving the application is a big step in moving the process forward.
“We hope applications will be filed with the Commission before 27 December and we can review that information. We then have until June 2024 to complete that process.”
Cari Boyce, chair of the Commission’s Sports Betting Committee, said the process will ensure a “fair and responsible” market in North Carolina.
“It is too soon to tell when betting will start,” Boyce noted. “That said, we want to get a fair and responsible programme up and running as soon as possible before the June deadline. We also want to make sure we get as much right up front as possible.”
North Carolina: What do we know so far?
While the final set of sports betting rules are yet to be confirmed, several measures were set out in the bill.
These include bets being permitted across college sports, esports and other sports matches authorised by the Commission.
However, the first set of rules published in October also included a ban on pick’em-style daily fantasy sports (DFS) games.
Tax is set at 18% of each licence holder’s gross gaming revenue. This was previously 14% but was later amended in the Senate.
From this, $2m will be given annually to the Department of Health and Human Services, to fund treatment and education for gambling addiction.
There is also a stipulation whereby operators must have a written designation agreement with a sports team, league or venue in order to launch sports betting.