Carolina Panthers Open Final Season Without Legal Online Sports Betting

The Carolina Panthers will kick off their final season without legal online sports betting when they take the field in Atlanta this Sunday.

The North Carolina Lottery Commission, regulator of the state’s online sports betting industry, could launch North Carolina online sports betting as early as Jan. 8, giving Tar Heel sports bettors an outside chance of placing an online bet during this year’s NFL Playoffs.

More likely though, the first bets placed on the Panthers or any other NFL team will be made for the 2024 NFL season.

Sports betting moments Panthers fans will miss this year

This year Panthers fans will watch a few key betting opportunities pass them by as they embark on their final season without online sports betting.

1. Panthers Super Bowl win

Most obviously, Panthers fans will not be able to open their Draftkings North Carolina app and take those +8000 odds for a Panthers Super Bowl win.

They’ll be left just to dream about whether the Panthers, now sitting in 25th position to win the Super Bowl, can do the impossible.

2. Panthers to win NFC South

Slightly less ambitious than the first, Panthers fans won’t be able to grab those +500 odds for the Panthers to win the NFC South Division title in 2023.

Coming off a “second place” finish in 2022–second in this case also being a tie for last place, record-wise–the Panthers will look to improve on their respectable 7-10 showing from last year. And, with not a lot of firepower around the division, a Panthers bounce-back year could be in the cards.

Carolina sports bettors, however, will have to watch their team’s potential ascendancy from the sidelines.

3. Bryce Young Rookie of the Year

All those fans donning their brand-new Bryce Young jerseys this weekend won’t be able to jump on their sports betting apps to put some action on Young’s Rookie of the Year futures odds (+450 as of now).

Drafting a quarterback with the number one overall pick in the NFL Draft is one of the most exciting things for a rebuilding team’s fanbase to experience, and Young has a definite shot at hoisting the Rookie of the Year trophy by season’s end. Plus, if he does so, he’ll be among the shortest NFL QBs to achieve that feat. (Not the shortest though. That honor goes to five-foot-seven Eddie LaBaron, 1952 Rookie of the Year and the first QB in Dallas Cowboys history.)

Young will be up against some stiff divisional competition from Atlanta running back, Bijan Robinson Junior, the odds-on favorite to take RoY honors year.

Panthers fans won’t wait long to see this new rivalry take shape as, again, Young and the Panthers take on Robinson and the Falcons this week.

In a rivalry that could define the division for years to come, this will be the last year North Carolina bettors can’t bet on their young stud.

Don’t fret; North Carolina retail betting options remain

None of this is to say NC sports bettors won’t be wagering on Carolina Panthers odds this year. All three tribal casinos in the state offer retail sportsbooks where all of these wagers can be placed.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy both offer Caesars sportsbooks while the Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain just outside Charlotte offers its own sportsbook.

For everyone making a day or even a weekend trip out to the casinos this season, be sure to keep responsible gambling habits in mind.

For everyone else waiting for the launch of online sports betting, the launch window opens on Jan. 8, 2024 and closes on June 14.

One legal expert sees an NC sports betting Super Bowl launch as entirely within reason.

The question is now, if North Carolina regulators can pull off a Super Bowl launch, can the Panthers do the impossible?

 

Image Credit: Mike McCarn / AP photos

About the Author

Tyler Andrews

Tyler is the Managing Editor for NCSharp.com, covering sports, sports law, and gambling for the Tar Heel State. He has also covered similar topics for PlayTexas, PlayGeorgia, PlayCA, PlayFlorida, PlayOhio, and PlayMA. Tyler’s current focus is North Carolina’s pathway to gaming legalization.