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North Carolina is gearing up for the launch of online sports betting on 11 March, with eight operators approved by the State Lottery Commission to hold interactive sports wagering licences.

The eight operators that have secured licences are FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, bet365, ESPN Bet, Underdog, and Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise, an entity of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians which has partnered up with Caesars and is already taking bets on tribal land. 

Regulatory background

The launch of online sports betting in North Carolina comes after Governor Roy Cooper signed sports betting bill HB 347 into law last June, authorising both online and retail sports betting on various events, including professional and college sports. 

The bill allows for the launch of up to 12 online and eight retail sportsbooks in the state.

However, in September, the rules of the bill were amended and now require each operator to hold a written agreement with one of 11 professional sports organisations in the state.

FanDuel’s second partner

Yesterday (4 March), FanDuel revealed it had secured a significant second partner in the state by teaming up with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers. 

“Bringing FanDuel to sports fans across North Carolina is an important moment for our business, and we are thrilled to be able to work with the Carolina Panthers to introduce their fanbase to America’s #1 Sportsbook,” said FanDuel CCO Mike Raffensperger.

“We look forward to supporting the team next season and to engaging the passionate sports fans across North Carolina with our product.”

In December 2023, FanDuel already announced a collaboration with the PGA Tour to gain access to the North Carolina betting market.

Meanwhile, bet365 teamed up with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, BetMGM with the Charlotte Motor Speedway, DraftKings with Nascar, Fanatics with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, ESPN Bet with the Quail Hollow Club and Underdog with the Sedgefield Country Club, both PGA Tour golf courses.

Nine licence applications received

In total, the Lottery Commission has received nine applications for interactive sports wagering operator licences and said it expects to approve additional licences in the near future. 

State Lottery Commission chair Ripley Rand described issuing the first interactive sports wagering operator licences as “a major milestone in establishing legal sports betting in North Carolina.”

He added that the commission will be working very hard  “to see that our launch is a successful one.”

In anticipation of the launch, North Carolinians have been able to sign up for accounts on their mobile devices since 1 March.

Under North Carolina’s regulations, individuals must be aged 21 or older to be able to open accounts and may place bets online from 11 March onwards.

Supplier authorisation

In addition to the operator licences, the Commission has also granted sports wagering supplier licences to GeoComply, SBTech Malta, and Sportradar, as well as sports wagering services provider licences to Caesars Sportsbook, theScore, and SDSV (Gibraltar) Limited.

In addition, 18 provisional supplier licences were awarded to companies including IMG Arena, Genius Sports, Continent 8, and Simplebet.

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