Another southeastern state is now offering legal sports betting, as Governor Roy Cooper signed a bill allowing domestic sportsbooks to operate inside North Carolina beginning in 2024.
This passage comes after a heavy lobbying push from local sports franchises like the Carolina Hurricanes (NHL), Carolina Panthers (NFL), Charlotte Hornets (NBA), NASCAR, and the PGA Tour.
These professional teams and leagues are interested in attaining a piece of the NC sports betting pie by adding local sportsbooks into or near their arenas. Some Carolina-based stadiums that are already positioned for sportsbook lounges include the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Bank of America Stadium (home of the Panthers), the Spectrum Center (home of the Hornets), and more.
House Bill 347 is the vessel that will bring legal sports betting to gamblers inside the Tarheel State, and it sets the North Carolina State Lottery Commission as the regulatory body for all licensing and penalty enforcement responsibilities.
Legal gambling in North Carolina is limited to those that are 21 and older when doing business with a domestic operator. Sports betting can be done at up to eight brick-and-mortar locations and up to twelve online sportsbooks/mobile sports betting apps.
These new sportsbooks will be in addition to the pre-existing retail sports betting venues located inside North Carolina’s three Native American casinos.
While tribal sports betting profits have gone unreported, the revenue generated by local sportsbooks has seen estimates north of $71 million per year in tax dollars and will be for the benefit of local schools and problem gaming programs.
Those totals are expected to be eclipsed at some point in 2028.
When Will North Carolina Sportsbooks Open?
The Commission can begin issuing licenses to domestic sportsbooks as early as January 8, 2024, with a deadline of June 14th to complete the process. Assuming the ball gets rolling at some point next spring, there is a chance that sports betting in NC can begin in time for gambling on College Football and the NFL in the fall.
Right now, offshore sportsbook sites are able to accept members at the age of 18 in North Carolina and let them bet on pro and college games online using PCs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
This gives these international gambling sites an edge over domestic books in the 18-to-20-year-old market, as it is their only legal option for sports betting inside NC.
The sites included in our list of online sportsbook reviews accept members inside of North Carolina right now and will continue to do so after domestic venues begin to accept wagers.
Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina are now the only regional holdouts, with Florida’s sports betting destiny now riding on a federal appellate judge’s decision.
North Carolina could receive an economic boost from gamblers located in GA that want to cross the border and use NC’s mobile sports betting apps. It’s all legal, just like gambling on sports while you’re in Las Vegas.
As more legal sports gambling states populate the country, remaining regions will be forced to pass local sportsbooks or surrender the revenue to bordering territories or offshore sports betting sites.