Published: January 5, 2024

NC Lottery Commission’s Sports Betting Committee is Actively Working on Setting Up the Certification Process for Operators

North Carolina sports betting is legal for both retail sportsbooks and online wagering sites.

In-person wagering is available but limited to a few retail locations in the state, while online North Carolina sportsbook apps are scheduled to launch in 2024.

In North Carolina, mobile sports betting was legalized on June 14, 2023, when Gov. Roy Cooper signed expanded betting legislation into law. With House Bill 347, the lottery commission must launch NC sports betting apps between Jan. 8, 2024, and June 14, 2024. The mobile sports betting bill allows sports fans throughout the Tar Heel State to wager on college and professional sports, plus other events.

Here, we review everything you need to know about North Carolina sports betting, including legal updates, launch news, expected NC sports betting apps, and how to bet once mobile sportsbooks launch in 2024.

North Carolina Sports Betting: At a Glance

With North Carolina approaching the launch of legal online sportsbooks, we break down everything you need to know about NC sports gambling.

North Carolina Sports Betting: Key Facts
North Carolina Population 10.55 million
Legal Betting Age (est.) 21+
Sports Betting Regulator North Carolina State Lottery Commission
Online Sportsbooks Coming Soon (2024)
Launch Date TBD
Retail Sportsbooks ✅ Available
College Sports Betting ✅ Available
eSports Betting ✅ Available
Betting Licenses Available 12
Tax Rate 18%

Is Sports Betting Legal in North Carolina?

Sports betting in North Carolina is legal (both retail and online), with North Carolina sportsbook apps set to launch in 2024. Bettors have been restricted to making wagers in person at one of three retail sportsbooks and casinos in the state, but now the best online sportsbooks are set to become a reality for NC bettors.

North Carolina officially legalized online sports betting when Gov. Roy Cooper signed HB 347 into law on June 14, 2023.

“It’s a great day for the state of North Carolina for sure,” Gov. Cooper said before signing the bill. “Sports wagering is already happening in our state. And surrounding states here and across the country are already taking advantage of it.

“This legislation allows the state of North Carolina to regulate it, put safeguards on it, and provide funding for helping people with problem gambling.”

The rules and regulations will govern up to 12 sports wagering operators, their service providers and suppliers, and those operating advanced deposit wagering used in horse racing. Eight of those gaming licenses will be tethered to professional sports facilities, leaving the opportunity for four standalone mobile sports betting licenses. The tribes currently operating the retail sportsbooks will also be allowed to offer their own mobile sports betting apps, and those licenses do not count against the 12 put forth in this law.

Sports betting had already technically been legal in North Carolina when Gov. Cooper signed S 154 into law on July 26, 2019, making North Carolina the 19th jurisdiction in America to authorize sports betting.

When Will North Carolina Sports Betting Apps Launch?

With House Bill 347, online sports betting in North Carolina must launch by June 2024.

A firm launch date has not yet been set. During a North Carolina Lottery Commission meeting on Nov. 29, chairman Ripley Rand announced that NC sportsbook apps will not begin accepting wagers in time for Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11, 2024.

The sports betting legislation gives the NC State Lottery Commission up to a year — beginning June 14, 2023 — to launch mobile sportsbooks in North Carolina.


North Carolina Sports Betting Updates and Legalization Timeline

  • January 5, 2024:

    DraftKings and BetMGM each confirmed partnerships that will allow them to have a presence in North Carolina when sports betting goes live in the Tar Heel State. DraftKings and NASCAR announced they have agreed to terms on a written designation agreement, paving the way for the digital sports entertainment and gaming company to operate in the state of North Carolina, pending licensure and regulatory approvals. BetMGM and Charlotte Motor Speedway also announced a market access agreement enabling BetMGM to bring its online sports betting platform to North Carolina once legalized sports betting launches. Subject to regulatory approval, BetMGM expects to offer online sports betting as soon as North Carolina’s regulated market commences, expected to be in the first quarter of 2024.

  • January 4, 2024:

    Sterl Carpenter, Deputy Executive of Director Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting, confirmed during meeting of the North Carolina sports betting committee that sports wagering would have a tiered roll out in the state. Online sportsbooks will go live first followed by retail sportsbook locations.

  • December 29, 2023:

    The North Carolina State Lottery Commission announced that seven operators have submitted applications for mobile sports betting licenses in the Tar Heel State. The seven sportsbooks that applied by the initial Dec. 27 deadline included Bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Underdog Sports. Caesars Sportsbook, which co-operates two tribal casinos in North Carolina, was among the applicants for a service provider license.

  • December 18, 2023:

    Fanatics Sportsbook has partnered with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes to gain market access when legal sports betting goes live in North Carolina in 2024. Fanatics Sportsbook is positioned as the fourth operator in line to launch a sports betting platform in North Carolina, joining bet365, ESPN BET and FanDuel.

  • December 13, 2023:

    During a meeting of the North Carolina Lottery Commission, Deputy Executive Director Sterl Carpenter stated that 14 sports betting operators have requested license applications thus far. The deadline for operators to submit applications with the commission is Dec. 27.

  • December 11, 2023:

    Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel is currently undergoing a $275 million expansion project expected to be completed by late 2024, WATE ABC News 6 reports. The project includes a 25,000-square-foot gaming floor expansion which will feature 300 new slot machines, eight additional table games and World Series of Poker – Poker Room, a 22-seat casino center bar.

  • December 8, 2023:

    FanDuel has secured access to an online sports betting license in North Carolina through an agreement with the PGA Tour, Sports Business Journal reports. Terms were not disclosed, but deals that include market access typically run for at least 10 years.

  • December 6, 2023:

    Sterl Carpenter, Director of Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting, announced during a meeting of the North Carolina Lottery Commission that 11 operators have applied so far for a sports betting license. The deadline for applications is Dec. 27, 2023.

  • December 5, 2023:

    Add ESPN BET to the list of sportsbooks that will have a presence when North Carolina sports betting launches online. PENN Entertainment announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary PENN Sports Interactive, LLC has entered into a partnership with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship ahead of the launch of online sports wagering in North Carolina. Under the agreement with Quail Hollow Club, PENN secures market access for its online sports wagering platform ESPN BET in North Carolina. ESPN BET will also become the exclusive official betting operator of the Wells Fargo Championship.

  • November 29, 2023:

    North Carolina sports betting apps will not launch in time for Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11, 2024, NC Lottery Commission chairman Ripley Rand announced during a meeting. A firm go-live date for online sports wagering in the state will likely not be set until after Dec. 27, 2023, when license applications from operators are due.

  • November 17, 2023:

    Bet365 will be present when sports betting goes live in North Carolina. The sportsbook announced an exclusive partnership to become the official mobile sports betting partner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets are the first North Carolina-based team to announce a deal with a sportsbook.

  • November 16, 2023:

    The North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved the first sports wagering rules during a public meeting. The new rules take effect on Jan. 8, 2024. In addition, the Sports Catalog that lists all approved sporting events and wagers in North Carolina also received the approval of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission on Nov. 16.

  • November 14, 2023:

    The North Carolina Lottery Commission announced that mobile sports betting will not launch in North Carolina on Jan. 8, 2024WRAL news reports. Jan. 8 is the first date that mobile sports betting would have been allowed in the state under the law. Still, members of the commission indicated that the timeline wouldn’t come to fruition. No start date has been given.

  • November 7, 2023:

    During a public meeting, the Sports Betting Committee of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved commencing the rulemaking process on the second set of wagering rules and issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The Commission accepted public comments regarding these rules through 11:59 p.m. ET, on Nov. 27, 2023.

  • October 17, 2023:

    During a public meeting, the Sports Betting Committee of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved the first set of sports betting rules for the state. A public hearing to accept public comments on the proposed rules was scheduled for Oct. 27, 2023.

  • September 27, 2023:

    The North Carolina State Lottery Commission voted unanimously to create the Sports Betting Committee. According to Commission Chair Ripley Rand, the new committee will be a catch-all for sports betting regulatory matters moving forward.

  • September 22, 2023:

    State lawmakers passed a new state budget tweaking North Carolina’s new sports betting law by removing the cap of 12 operators. They instead define potential operators as pro sports teams, NASCAR tracks, pro golf tracks, and governing bodies for NASCAR or pro golf. However, the number of potential online/mobile licensees remains relatively unchanged.

  • September 20, 2023:

    A North Carolina Lottery committee has recommended approval of sports betting rulemaking policy and procedures just hours before a potential revamping of the state’s sports betting law in Raleigh, Gaming Today reports. State lawmakers are considering removing the 12-operator limit as part of 11th-hour budget discussions. Nine organizations would qualify under the new proposal.

  • September 19, 2023:

    North Carolina’s mobile sports gambling law would undergo significant changes if a new state budget proposal becomes law, WRAL news reports. The budget proposal changes how mobile sports betting operators can obtain a license in the state. The new language strips out the limit of 12 mobile betting operators, but instead requires that operators have a “written designation agreement” with a professional sports team, the owners of certain major sports facilities, NASCAR, or the PGA Tour.

  • September 1, 2023:

    Legal sports betting in North Carolina took another step forward when the North Carolina State Lottery Commission announced Gaming Laboratories International — a leader in testing and certification in the gaming industry — will assist with sports betting regulation in the state. GLI has assisted Massachusetts, Vermont, and Kentucky, with their sports betting launches.

  • August 3, 2023:

    In a release announcing its second quarter 2023 financial resultsDraftKings confirms plans to launch in North Carolina once sports betting goes live in the state. “DraftKings expects to launch its Sportsbook product in Kentucky … as well as in North Carolina, Vermont, and Puerto Rico, in each case pending licensure and regulatory approvals as well as securing market access in North Carolina and Vermont,” the release said.

  • August 1, 2023:

    PrizePicks, North America’s largest fantasy sports operator, announced that the company has signed a partnership agreement with the North Carolina Courage, a leading team within the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). PrizePicks is the first fantasy sports operator to partner with a team in the NWSL.

  • July 27, 2023:

    During a Massachusetts Gaming Commission meeting, it was announced that Sterl Carpenter was leaving the MGC to become the North Carolina deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting, responsible for developing and managing sports betting regulations. Carpenter spent the last eight years with the MGC and served most recently as its sports wagering operations manager.

  • July 26, 2023:

    BetMGM confirmed plans to launch when sports betting goes live in North Carolina during its first half update of 2023 and outlook for the full year. In its forecast, BetMGM stated its planned investment includes “upcoming launches in Kentucky and North Carolina that were not originally planned during 2023.”

  • June 27, 2023:

    With North Carolina sports betting now legalized, there is a chance new horseracing tracks could be coming to the state, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.  According to the publication, momentum from the sports-gambling law resuscitated a two-year-old proposal by state senator Paul Lowe (D-Forsyth) to create a racing commission to “regulate horse racing, promote breeding and training of horses and the further development of the equine industry in this state.”

  • June 14, 2023:

    Expanded North Carolina sports betting became legal when Gov. Roy Cooper signed the state’s online sports betting bill (HB 347) into law during an appearance at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. Mobile sports betting in North Carolina will launch within 12 months of Cooper’s signature.

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