In North Carolina’s recently proposed $30 billion budget, the state seeks to alter how sports betting operators will obtain a sports wagering license in the state. ahead of the projected 2024 launch.
North Carolina Teams, Venues To Have The Power
Were the proposed requirements to be approved, the North Carolina Lottery Commission (NCLC) would only issue sports wagering licenses to operators — i.e., online sportsbook apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel — that have a “written designation agreement” with one of the following venues:
- A North Carolina professional sports team
- An owner of a motorsports facility
- Operators of a NASCAR or professional golf event
- A professional golf tournament venue
The NCLC is not accepting online sports betting licenses yet, however the “written designation agreements” will have to be completed prior to applying for a license.
Each team/owner/venue is only allowed partnership with one operator and that operator will be in charge of the online sportsbook as well as a retail sportsbook at the partner’s location. In essence, this new proposal transfers the decisional power from the NCLC to the state’s sports market leaders.
The current law, which was passed in June, simply states that the NCLC can issue up to 12 online operators in the state, with no stipulation regarding a partnership with a sports entity. It is unclear if the 12 operator limit is still in place under the new rule.
Bank of America Stadium Will Host a Sportsbook
In addition to online sports betting, HB 347 will permit pari-mutuel horse racing, collegiate betting, and in-person sports betting at eight “public accommodation” locations. The eight locations are:
- Bank of America Stadium
- Charlotte Motor Speedway
- North Wilkesboro Speedway
- PNC Arena
- Quail Hollow Country Club
- Sedgefield Country Club
- Spectrum Center
- WakeMed Soccer Park
Operators will be taxed at 18% and be required to pay a $1 million interactive sports wagering license fee. Service provider licenses and sports wagering supplier licenses will also be available.
Application fees and tax revenue will be distributed among several different state programs as well as the state’s collegiate athletic programs – $300,000 will be allocated to each of the 13 different athletic departments outlined in the bill. An additional 20% of the remaining revenue left over after those distributions will be split evenly among the colleges.
North Carolina Sports Betting Launch Date Still Unofficial
While the legislation states that the projected timeline for a launch is between January and June of 2024, State Sen. Zack Hawkins told Lineups in a previous interview that they were targeting Jan. 8 as the launch date.
However, the new budget that includes this amendment has not yet been passed. Until it is passed, the NCLC won’t be accepting applications and sports betting won’t be launching, so that Jan. 8 target may be in jeopardy.
The legislature is expected to begin voting on the budget this week.