The North Carolina State Lottery Commission recently released the list of companies that have applied for retail and online sports betting privileges. They have until Dec. 27 to submit their applications. The market leaders, DraftKings and FanDuel, are among the seven companies hoping to be granted licenses. Other companies include BetMGM, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, bet365, and Underdog Sports. The online sports betting applications will take up to 90 days to review and issue licenses, as required by law. While the law states that betting should commence by June 15, 2024, Governor Roy Cooper is pushing for an earlier start, coinciding with the 2024 NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

The sports betting law in North Carolina also requires companies to partner with a professional sports team, venue, or one of two qualifying sports organizations — the PGA Tour and NASCAR. Some of the companies have already formed partnerships, with FanDuel teaming up with the PGA Tour, Fanatics with the NHL Carolina Hurricanes, and ESPN Bet with Quail Hollow Club.

If approved, the sportsbook firms will be allowed to operate in-person and online sports betting, with retail facilities only permitted at their partnered organization’s stadium or venue. Each sportsbook license costs a one-time $1 million fee, with a gross revenue tax of 18%, which will support collegiate athletics at state universities.

In addition to the seven commercial sportsbook bids, Caesars Sportsbook is expected to apply as a licensed service provider to operate an online book on behalf of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This will require an amendment to the state’s Class III gaming compact by Governor Cooper. Another pending issue is whether smaller sportsbooks like Underdog will be able to compete with industry giants like DraftKings and FanDuel. Underdog recently gained its first online sports betting license via Ohio and hopes to cut into the market share of the bigger players.

The expansion of sports betting in North Carolina will bring significant changes to the gambling landscape and provide ample opportunities for industry competitiveness and growth.

By admin

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