BetMGM made it clear Monday morning that the company’s immediate target for expanding its online sports betting footprint is North Carolina.
“The next new market launch is likely to be online sports betting in North Carolina, expected sometime before June next year,” BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said in his opening remarks during an update for analysts and investors.
Except for North Carolina, BetMGM executives declined to specify an overall timeline for additional state rollouts. In response to a question about how the operator planned to increase its share of the combined online sports betting and iGaming market, BetMGM CFO Gary Deutsch, replied: “From a modeling standpoint we look at different states…we’re not going to say which ones in which time but certainly we have North Carolina as a signature launch for this coming year.”
We recently learned from Ripley Rand, chair of the North Carolina Lottery Commission, that online sports betting in North Carolina would not go live before the 2024 Super Bowl, but we don’t think bettors will have to wait until June as Greenblatt noted.
BetMGM’s current market share
BetMGM’s online sports betting reach is 21 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. It also operates 38 retail sportsbooks. In the overall US sports betting and iGaming market, BetMGM sits third behind DraftKings and FanDuel.
“We continue to be a market leader with a combined market share in the third quarter of 17% in online sports, betting and gaming across the US and Ontario,” Greenblatt said. “This puts us firmly in the top tier of the industry, with all smaller competitors garnering low to mid-single digit shares.”
To enter the North Carolina sports betting market, BetMGM must secure a written designation agreement with a sports entity, including professional teams, an approved golf course or race track, NASCAR or the PGA.
Operators can operate an online and a retail sportsbook with their approved sports partners. The Charlotte Hornets announced an online sportsbook partnership with Bet365 last week. They revealed that a retail sportsbook is not currently a priority for the team as they are focusing on a mobile-only experience for fans. This leaves the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes as premium targets in addition to several second-tier and third-tier sports teams and entities.
BetMGM is an official sports betting partner of several professional sports teams including the Tennessee Titans. The company also operates the on-site retail sportsbooks for the Arizona Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds.
Next steps for BetMGM and other operators
Last week, the North Carolina Lottery Commission revealed some key dates for operators who plan to enter the Tar Heel State.
The state’s new legal gaming website, ncgaming.gov, has just opened the portal for sports betting operators to request an application for a license. While regulators anticipate that completed applications could include over 1,000 pages of documentation, a brand like BetMGM will likely have most of this paperwork at the ready with some minor legal tweaks needed to abide by North Carolina law.
License applications are due Dec. 27, 2023, with a 60-day approval window for regulators to vet all applicants.
The state-mandated deadline to launch sports betting is June 15, 2024. However, NCSharp thinks a March Madness 2024 launch could still be in the cards.