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BETTING

North Carolina Lottery Adopts Sports Betting Rules

General View Bank of America Stadium Charlotte North Carolina
A general view of the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images/AFP

Several sports betting rules and regulations were adopted at the latest meeting of the North Carolina Lottery Commission to discuss sports betting in NC, but a specific launch date is still unknown.

Regulation Adoption

Affiliate marketers are allowed to work with and promote online sportsbooks with the caveat that they cannot be compensated by getting a cut of their referral’s wagers.

“The sports betting committee’s staff recommended striking the marketing affiliate paragraph after several public comments were made from parties involved with advertisers and regulators in other legal sports betting states,” the report read. “There was “looseness” in the language, creating uncertainty in the rule.”

In another positive pivot by the North Carolina Lottery Commission, online sportsbooks can now advertise in sports venues or racetracks throughout the state and pursue naming rights. However, none of their advertising can be targeted to those under 21 years old.

The term “risk-free” will not be allowed in any advertising as it has been deemed misleading. We have seen this term become outlawed in many other states and jurisdictions, which makes this rule rather commonplace.

Partnering Up

According to reports, 14 online sportsbooks have expressed interest in servicing the North Carolina market but those applications must be submitted before December 27, 2023. There will be a 60-day window for the committee to review those applications and determine which sportsbooks are allowed to operate in the market.

As for when the launch will go live, that continues to be an unanswered question, but we can deduce that it will likely occur between March Madness and by the deadline of July 1, 2024, according to state law.

Mutually Beneficial

We can identify three future players in the North Carolina sports betting market as each national sportsbook has already partnered with a sports venue, franchise, or organization within the Tar Heel State. Penn Entertainment, owner of ESPN BET, recently inked a deal with the legendary Quail Hollow Club, the venue of the 2025 PGA Championship.

Benjie Levy, Head of Penn Interactive, commented on the partnership by saying, “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.

“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.”

And while ESPN BET needed a dance partner to gain access to the North Carolina market, Quail Hollow gets a nice chunk of change for simply lending its iconic name in the world of golf to ESPN BET.

Johnny Harris, President of Quail Hollow Club, stated, “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.”

But ESPN BET is not the only sportsbook getting ahead of the game, as bet365 has partnered with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets while FanDuel has teamed with the PGA Tour.

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