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North Carolina sports betting spend hits $659.3m in opening month

| By Robert Fletcher
Players in North Carolina wagered a total of $659.3m (£528.7m/€617.8m) online on sports during March, the Tar Heel State’s first month of legal sports betting.
North Carolina April

North Carolina opened its regulated sports betting market on 11 March. Figures released by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission cover the period from launch day until the end of March.

Of the total wagered in the opening weeks, consumers spent $456.7m of their own money on betting. A further $202.6m was accredited to promotional bets offered by operators.

Players won a total of $590.8m from sports betting in this period, while $2.1m worth of bets were voided or cancelled. As such, gross wagering revenue for the first few weeks of legal betting amounted to $66.5m.

The Commission, however, did not release data on tax. State law places an 18% tax rate on gross wagering revenue of each interactive sports wagering operator in North Carolina.

Month one figures come after the Commission earlier in April released data for the first full week of betting. During week one, more than $198.0m was bet online on sports in the state.

A further breakdown revealed over $24.0m was wagered on the market’s first day. 

Who is active in North Carolina?

At present, eight operators hold interactive wagering licences and are offering online betting in North Carolina. Established brands FanDuel, Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings, Fanatics, Bet365, BetMGM, ESPN Bet and Underdog are all active.

To offer sports betting in the state, operators must partner a sports team, league or venue within North Carolina. All current licensees have such an agreement in place.

These include DraftKings, which is partnered with stock car racing series Nascar. Meanwhile, BetMGM works with the Charlotte Motor Speedway and ESPN Bet with golf’s PGA Tour and its Wells Fargo Championship.

Other partnerships include Fanatics Betting and Gaming and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. In addition, Underdog expanded its position as a paid fantasy sports operator in the state through a partnership with McConnell Golf.

Positive early response from operators 

During the first few weeks of operation, there has been a positive response from licensees in North Carolina.

Kevin Hennessey, vice-president of communications, at Fanatics Sportsbook, said the launch process had been “very smooth”. 

A DraftKings spokesperson echoed these comments, saying it had seen “great engagement” in the state.

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