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Underdog partners with McConnell Golf for North Carolina sports betting

| By Robert Fletcher
Underdog Sports has partnered with McConnell Golf to support its application for a sports betting licence in North Carolina.
Underdog North Carolina

The deal states Underdog will host, manage, operate and support online gambling services with McConnell Golf-operated Sedgefield Country Club. Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, the venue hosts the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.

Underdog said the deal is part of its licence application. Operators seeking approval to run sports betting in the state must partner with a sports team, league or venue within North Carolina.

Traditionally focused on daily fantasy sports, Underdog has recently expanded into sports betting. However, the operator is yet to launch wagering, despite having secured a sports betting licence in Ohio in late 2022.

“We’ve spent the last four years building our own technology so we can give sports fans in America new and different ways to enjoy the sports they love,” Underdog founder and co-CEO Jeremy Levine said. “We’re excited to be able to offer that to North Carolinians and look forward to evolving the experience with them.”

McConnell Golf COO Christian Anastasiadis also welcomed the deal. He said it was important to find a partner to provide a different approach to sports competitions and tournaments.

“We too believe in thinking differently and challenging the status quo and there is a lot of star power behind the Underdog Fantasy app,” said Anastasiadis. “I truly believe we found the right partner.

“This partnership was conceived with fans in mind. We’re looking forward to working with McConnell Golf to bring people together to experience their premier club properties.”

What’s the situation in North Carolina?

Including Underdog, nine operators have submitted applications for sports betting licences in North Carolina. A launch date for the market has not yet been revealed but it is hoped legal betting will go live by March this year.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission is currently overseeing the licensing process. Chair Ripley Rand previously said the launch date will mainly hinge on how long the licence application process takes.

This process launched at the start of December after the governor, Roy Cooper, signed House Bill 347 into law in June 2023.

Earlier this month, North Carolina edged closer to launching betting after the Commission set a deadline of 26 January for operators to submit their internal controls. This means any interested parties have until this Friday to confirm their plans with the regulator.

Who can we expect to see?

Among those seeking a licence is BetMGM, which has struck a market access agreement with Charlotte Motor Speedway. The complex regularly hosts stock car racing series Nascar.

Also preparing to launch in the state is DraftKings, which will partner with Nascar. The deal makes DraftKings the exclusive daily fantasy sports partner of Nascar in the US and Canada. 

In addition, Fanatics Betting and Gaming has begun its market entry process, entering a partnership agreement with NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. This will see Fanatics become the team’s official sports betting partner. 

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