North Carolina Sports Betting Could Launch by January 2024

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Jun 8, 2023 12:00 AM
North Carolina sports betting is almost here.

At long last, after numerous attempts, there will be legal sports betting in North Carolina. And it's coming soon.

The state Senate recently passed a bill that will allow sports betting at tribal casinos. Though many officials reassured people this gambling initiative would pass easily, others were skeptical. North Carolina had traveled down this road before only for the sports betting push to fall apart. But that didn't happen in 2023. In fact, it wasn't even close. The North Carolina state Senate voted to approve the sports betting bill with an approval rate north of 85 percent (42-7).

In the wake of this decision, The Tar Heel State is moving swiftly to put together their sports gambling infrastructure. Governor Roy Cooper has signed House Bill 347 into law, and North Carolina is in the process of figuring out all the necessary regulatory processes. 

These steps can take time. Not surprisingly, North Carolina sports betting doesn't have an official launch date. And when pressed about a more concrete timetable, the state lottery department, which will run sports betting operations, remained noncommittal.

"Many people want to know when North Carolina will begin permitting legal sports betting," Ripley Rand, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission Chair, said in a statement. "The commission and staff take these responsibilities seriously and are committed to ensuring the job is done in a complete, professional, transparent, and timely manner. We will keep the public up to date about when these programs will launch."

Despite the state's noncommittal stance, a tentative launch has begun circulating. According to Bookies.com, many experts within the industry expect North Carolina sports gambling to launch on January 8, 2024. 

Why is the state potentially aiming for that date? And what else do we need to know about betting on sports in North Carolina once the state has officially launched? To the Information Machine!

Why North Carolina Sports Betting May Launch on January 8, 2024

Anyone hoping that North Carolina would roll out sports betting before the end of 2023 will be sorely disappointed. The current timeline won't allow residents to bet on the 2023 NFL regular season. It won't even be ready in time for the start of the playoffs.

Still, as we already said, these rollouts take time. And if we're being honest, it could take North Carolina much longer than the projected timeline to get their systems in place. Then again, January 8 is a pretty specific date. That suggests the state is serious about launching sports betting within the next six months.

This starts to make sense when you dig into the date. The final NCAA football game of the upcoming season is scheduled to kick off on January 8, 2024. If North Carolina sports betting goes live on that exact day, the state will be able to capitalize on betting odds for the 2024 college football national championship.

Granted, this would be true if the state launched even sooner. But hooking the sports betting launch around the big game is a surefire to generate the most possible interest. A January 8 launch also gives sports fans in North Carolina plenty of time to bet on the 2024 Super Bowl

With that said, you'll want to keep monitoring the timetable for North Carolina sports betting until a date is set in stone. Rollout forecasts change all the time in this industry. Just ask the folks in Nebraska. Or Massachusetts. Or—well, you get the point.

Full Details of Sports Betting in North Carolina

North Carolina is still hammering out a few of the necessary details at this writing. For the most part, though, the terms of sports gambling legalization have been set. Let's run through the most important questions.

  • Will North Carolina allow mobile wagering? At first, the answer to this question appeared to be "no." But it turns out people in North Carolina will be able to place bets using the best online sportsbooks in the United States, in addition to visiting brick-and-mortar operators. It just isn't clear whether the mobile launch will dovetail with the rollout for retail locations.
  •  How will sports betting operators be taxed? North Carolina will assess an 18 percent tax rate to all operators. Retail sportsbooks will also pay $1 million for a five-year license.
  • Should we expect aggressive North Carolina sports betting bonuses when they finally launch? This answer is complicated. On the one hand, yes. Sportsbooks will always offer lucrative promotions when opening in a new market. On the other hand, residents should brace themselves for more conservative offerings relative to other places. North Carolina is among the first states to legalize sports betting without permitting operators to write off bets placed with promotional funds.
  • Does North Carolina allow betting on college sports? Yes, patrons can wager on both professional and college sports.
  • How many North Carolina sports betting licenses will be handed out? At present, the state plans to offer "12 online skins" and eight retail betting sites.
  • Where will North Carolina sports betting revenue be spent? The state will disperse sports betting revenue among a variety of programs. This includes a portion of funds going to initiatives that deal with gambling addiction and responsible gaming. The state has set up a website for people to find out exactly how sports betting revenue is spent. This site is also a resource for responsible gaming practices.

There will be more details to follow in the coming weeks and months. But there's one more tidbit that warrants close attention.

While we cannot say for sure whether sports gambling in North Carolina will go live by January 8, HB 347 has mandated that it must be launched no later than June 14, 2024. So, even in the worst-case scenario, residents of The Tar Heel State will be able to wager on sports within the next year.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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