A Rundown of the Sports Betting & iGaming Markets in Q1 of 2024: Vermont, North Carolina to Launch & More

The beginning of 2024 brings continued expansion of the United States online gambling market. Both Vermont and North Carolina are slated to go live with sports betting in Q1, while New York is expected to introduce new iGaming legislation.

Though it’s impossible to perfectly forecast what bills will pass and when states will go live, the macro-level trends defining the U.S. gambling market heading into 2024 remain relatively clear — more states are making active efforts to legalize online betting, and major operators continue to grow as a result.

Vermont, North Carolina Look to Legalize Sports Betting in Q1

Vermont and North Carolina are the two states expected to launch sports betting in Q1 of 2024. While Vermont’s launch date has already been set for Jan. 11, North Carolina’s is still undecided. When the Tar Heel state decides to go live with sports betting could have a major impact on short term financials pertaining to both local taxes and nationwide handle metrics.

Vermont Sports Betting Update

With the Passage of House Bill 127 on June 14, 2023, Vermont became the sixth and final New England state to formally legalize sports betting. Sportsbook operators are slated to go live in the state on Jan. 11, 2024 — making the Green Mountain state the state to launch in 2024.

DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics are all expected to go live on the Thursday launch date for everyone over the age of 21.

North Carolina Sports Betting Update

Following the passage of HB 347 on June 14, 2023, North Carolina sports betting is now legal. That said, individuals across the Tar Heel state will not be able to place wagers from their mobile devices until sportsbook operators are given the green light to go live — a date that is expected to come after the 2024 Super Bowl and before this year’s March Madness tournament. When the bill was inked, Gov. Roy Cooper gave legislators one year to settle on a launch date, making June 14, 2024 the deadline for the start of online sports betting.

Under the current construction of the bill, sportsbook operators will have to partner with either a local professional sports franchise, PGA Tour Course, or NASCAR track in order to gain licensure. The following operators have earned their license by partnering with the following entities:

  • BetMGM: Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • DraftKings: NASCAR
  • Bet365: Charlotte Hornets
  • Fanatics: Carolina Hurricanes
  • FanDuel: PGA Tour
  • ESPN Bet:Quail Hollow Country Club

Florida Sports Betting Case Continues

Having gone live for online users on Nov.7, Florida sports betting continues to face a legal battle at the hands of the ongoing court case between the Seminole Tribe and West Flagler & Associates — a group comprised of racetrack operators that represent nontribal gaming interests across the states.

Currently, the Supreme Court of Florida is deciding whether to weigh in on the U.S. district court’s authorization of the state of Florida’s gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe’s — something West Flagler attorneys say violates state Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 — which 70 percent of voters approved of in 2018 — gives Florida residents “the exclusive right to decide whether to authorize casino gambling in Florida”.

Missouri Gets Ball Rolling on Legislation

As of Jan.8, two Missouri legislators have filed separate sports betting bills, looking to capitalize on an opportunity to legalize sports betting before the 2024 elections.

The first bill is State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer’s SB 852, which proposes a licensure process by which online operators would be able to enter the market by virtue of a partnership with a local riverboat casino.

According to the bill, one riverboat casino would be able to partner with two online operators. The tax rate on operator revenue would be 12 percent, paid out to the state’s education fund.

The second bill — SB 824 — was filed by State Sen. Denny Hoskins. The primary difference between Hoskins’ bill and Luetkenmeyer’s is the tax rate. Where Luetkenmeyer proposes a 12 percent rate, Hoskins proposes a 10 percent tax rate on operator revenue.

Though sports betting remains the most newsworthy aspect of Hoskins’ bill, he has reiterated that his primary objective is legalizing video lottery terminals in the state — something that he would accomplish were it to pass.

Q1 iGaming Updates

In addition to sports betting bills, Q1 of 2024 could see the development of some iGaming legislation. Most notably, the state of New York is expected to dilberate over a new iGaming bill drafted by State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo (D-Queens), as stated in an interview with bonus.com.

New York Online Casino Update

Since legalizing sports betting in January of 2022, no state has processed more money in online sports betting wagers than New York. Given the success of online betting in the state — and the associated tax windfall — legislators like Joseph Addabbo believe New York could benefit from other forms of mobile wagering, namely online casinos.

This is not Addabbo’s first attempt at an online casino bill, though, as he initially proposed one in Feb. of 2023 that failed to receive the support necessary to make it out of the legislature. With the state’s budget continuing to outpace tax revenue in a post-COVID world, however, the prospect of legalizing an industry that could generate upwards of $475 million in revenue per year appears increasingly attractive.

Addabbo has stated that he hopes to tax New York online casinos at a rate of 30.5 percent. For reference, online sportsbook operators in the state of New York are taxed at a rate of 51 percent.

While a launch of online casino gaming in New York is likely still months away at the earliest, the legal foundation for a possible launch may be set in Q1 of 2024.

Q1 Sports Betting Handle Expectations

The biggest driver of sports betting handle in the first quarter of almost any year is the NFL Playoffs. When looking at 2024 specifically, it will be interesting to see if the handle generated from a potential North Carolina launch can cancel out the year-over-year decrease that is expected to be observed in Ohio, which went live in Jan. of 2023.

Though Ohio’s handle numbers are still expected to be upwards of $700 million monthly, the state has still never seen a month perform as well as January, 2023 — the first month of legalized sports betting in the state. This decrease will be reflected in year-over-year metrics for the first time this month. Moreover, their remains a chance that North Carolina fails to launch in Q1.

The total U.S. sports betting handle for Q1 in each of the last three years is as follows:

  • Q1 of 2021: $13.01 billion
  • Q1 of 2022:$26.9 billion
  • Q1 of 2023: $31.7 billion
Patrick started covering the sports betting scene in March of 2021 as a member of the Loyola Phoenix. Since then, his industry analysis has been featured on websites such as Lineups.com and Daily Fantasy Cafe, where he has focused primarily on the NFL and individual state launches. As the current Assistant Site Runner of Lineups.com, Patrick aims to give more people access to information that may offer some insight into why teams build the way they do and what that means for any given matchup.

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