North Carolina Sports Betting Won’t Launch in Time for Super Bowl
Sports bettors in North Carolina are eagerly awaiting the launch of legal sports betting, but unfortunately, it won’t be in time for the Super Bowl. The North Carolina Lottery Commission is asking sportsbook operators to submit applications by December 27, but there is no confirmed go-live date for wagering yet.
Lottery Commission Chairman Ripley Rand acknowledged the public’s excitement and disappointment and stated that, while the Commission is committed to making sports betting available as quickly as possible, it won’t be in time for the Super Bowl. The applications require a 60- to 90-day review period for regulators to conduct background checks on key companies and personnel. This means that the earliest date for betting to go live would be late February.
North Carolina legalized sports betting last year, but the new law directed the commission to establish a sports betting program by January 8, 2024. However, regulators have previously acknowledged that they would miss this target, and Rand’s latest comments further push back the start date to at least beyond February 11. The law gives regulators until June 15 to bring sports betting online.
At a recent meeting, the Lottery Commission unanimously approved application procedures for sportsbook operators interested in setting up shop in the Tar Heel State. The state is asking potential sportsbook operators to compile thousands of pages of documentation to support their applications and demonstrate compliance with state law.
Rand emphasized that sports betting is highly regulated and that North Carolina will have high expectations and strict requirements for licensees. An application portal will soon be added to the state’s sports betting website, ncgaming.gov.
Before submitting their applications to the state, sportsbooks will also have to reach agreements with North Carolina’s professional sports teams and major venues where brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be able to open. The state’s sports betting law authorizes in-venue sportsbooks at four professional stadiums and allows temporary sportsbooks to open during events hosted at various other sports venues.
Regulators hope to announce a go-live date soon after applications are submitted, but until then, they have a lot of work to do. The ultimate go-live date will depend on the number of applicants for licenses, the completion of the initial rulemaking process for sports betting, background checks on the applicants and their key individuals, approval of provisional licenses for suppliers, and verification that licensed operators have proposed robust and compliant internal controls and certified equipment and software.