The North Carolina Lottery Commission is steadily advancing the regulatory framework for legal online sports betting in the state. On a recent Wednesday morning, a significant step was taken with the finalization of a second set of regulations, moving closer to a potential late first-quarter 2024 launch of online sportsbooks in North Carolina. This follows the commission’s decision to rule out launching before the Super Bowl on February 11.
Key Regulatory Decisions Made by the Commission
At their December 13 meeting, the commission reviewed a new batch of proposed rules from its sports betting committee, covering areas not addressed in the initial set, like responsible gambling and restrictions on sportsbook advertising at sporting venues. One section concerning marketing affiliates, however, faced challenges during public comments, leading to its removal from the draft. With this amendment, the rest of the rules were unanimously approved. The committee will further refine the affiliate marketing rules for future consideration.
This development marks a brief pause in the commission’s busy schedule, as the next phase of licensing applications approaches.
Approaching Deadline for Sports Betting License Applications
A crucial deadline of December 27 looms for potential licensees, including sportsbook operators and service vendors, to submit their applications. Applications received after this date may miss the chance to launch on the market’s opening day. The commission has a 90-day period to decide on these applications, indicating possible approvals by late March. However, faster approvals could occur, facilitating a more timely launch, possibly allowing North Carolinians to legally bet on events like March Madness in 2024.
Following the successful launch of online sports betting, the state may consider expanding to retail casinos outside the existing tribal casinos and eventually explore the realm of online casinos.
The North Carolina Lottery Commission’s recent progress in finalizing regulations signals a promising future for online sports betting in the state, potentially as early as late first-quarter 2024. With a critical application deadline of December 27 for operators and vendors, and the commission’s 90-day review period, approvals could align with major sporting events like March Madness. This advancement in sports betting regulations sets the stage for potential future expansion into retail and online casinos, marking a significant step in the growth of North Carolina’s gaming industry.