Fanatics has recently secured a partnership with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes which is a necessary step in entering North Carolina’s mobile sports betting market when it launches in 2024.
Step by Step
One of the most common practices in states’ sports betting blueprints is mandating that online sportsbooks partner with local professional sports franchises, leagues, or in-state venues. That holds true in North Carolina, a state that is on the cusp of launching sports betting but still must take the necessary steps before it happens in the first half of 2024.
Fanatics is seeking to become one of the providers selected, and to that end has partnered with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, which will give the team access to the team’s website, media, and marketing materials. The formal announcement has yet to be made, but other sports betting platforms have already secured partnerships in the Tar Heel State.
BetMGM, Caesars, and DraftKings are just a few of the sportsbooks that are likely to announce their partnerships in due time as the deadline to submit applications is December 27th. There will be a 60-day window in which the 14 prospective operators will be vetted and granted approval.
Partnering with approved franchises, leagues, or venues is just one step in getting approved and licensed, but the process should move forward quickly after the New Year as the law states the launch must occur by June 14, 2024, in which a maximum of 12 mobile and 8 retail sportsbooks are allowed.
ESPN BET Announces Partnership
Three other online sports betting providers are poised to enter the North Carolina market with bet365 teaming with the Charlotte Hornets while FanDuel will use its existing partnership with the PGA Tour to gain access in the Tar Heel State.
The third sportsbook to partner with a North Carolina entity is Penn Entertainment’s newly rebranded ESPN BET, which has announced its partnership with Quail Hollow Club, an iconic golf venue that will be home to the 2025 PGA Championship.
“We are thrilled to partner with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship as we prepare to bring our new online sports betting brand, ESPN BET, to North Carolina,” said Benjie Levy, Head of Penn Interactive. “Along with market access, we’re excited to sponsor the popular Wells Fargo Championship and look forward to working together with our new partners to create unique fan activations.”
Johnny Harris, President, of Quail Hollow Club, said, “We welcome the upcoming launch of regulated online sports wagering in North Carolina and are extremely pleased to partner with a leading gaming and entertainment operator in PENN Entertainment. PENN’s compelling online sports betting brand ESPN BET, cutting-edge technology, and extensive operational expertise make them an ideal long-term partner for this industry.”
The Wells Fargo Championship, a PGA TOUR Signature Event will be held at Quail Hollow Club in May, and ESPN BET will play an integral part of engaging with fans throughout the tournament and will have its marketing campaigns on display at the event.