North Carolina’s Sports Betting Launch Date Uncertain
When North Carolina lawmakers legalized sports betting earlier this year, they had hoped that wagers would be accepted in time for the college football national championship game on January 8, 2024. However, regulators announced on Tuesday that the program won’t be online by that time.
The North Carolina Lottery Commission is responsible for establishing regulations for sports betting, and they informed the sports betting committee that they won’t be able to meet the January 8 launch date. Sterl Carpenter, North Carolina’s deputy executive director for gaming compliance, stated that there are still several steps that need to be completed before legal wagering can be available in the state.
Commissioner Ripley Rand inquired about the likelihood of betting being authorized by January 8 during the meeting, to which Carpenter responded that it was unlikely. Commissioner Cari Boyce added that the commission would have to meet daily in order to get sports betting online as soon as envisioned under the law.
Despite the setbacks, the commission is taking steps to make sports betting a reality. They plan to meet to adopt the first set of sports betting rules and a sports wagering catalog this week. The draft sports wagering catalog includes a wide range of professional, collegiate, and international competitions across 45 different events.
Before sports betting can begin, additional steps are necessary, including approving additional rules, conducting background checks on key applicants and personnel, and overseeing sportsbook programs to address key priorities such as responsible gaming. The sports betting law authorizes in-venue sportsbooks at four professional stadiums in North Carolina, as well as temporary sportsbooks during events hosted at other venues.
While the start of sports betting is not anticipated by January 8, 2024, the commission is committed to ensuring that it gets up and running as soon as possible, with June 15 being the latest possible start date according to the law. Director of communications for the North Carolina Lottery, Van Denton, stated that the commission remains on track to achieve this goal.