With NC Launch Looming, Expert Says AI Tech Is Next Frontier Of Sports Betting

We’re five years into legal US sports betting, and the industry has reached an inflection point. Markets are saturated. Some operators are ditching their sportsbooks altogether. The ones that remain face a stark reality: innovate … or die.

That means North Carolina will launch its sports betting market at a very interesting time.

One prominent expert in gaming law told NCSharp she expects the next three to five years – as the North Carolina sports betting market reaches full maturity – to grow exponentially from fresh ideas and inventive ways to acquire customers.

“Over the next 3-5 years, I can see the sports betting industry focusing on incorporating AI technology to enhance the customer experience,” said Katherine Baker, partner at Nelson Mullins and chair of the firm’s Gaming Industry Group. “I think we’ll also see more omnichannel offerings, (such as) adding media and retail elements and other fan engagement tools to sports betting platforms and tying everything back to attendance at live sporting events.”

AI technology in sports betting

Artificial intelligence already plays a role in modern sports betting.

(And no, we’re not just talking about ChatGPT giving you advice for your Same Game Parlays. More on that later.)

From a backend perspective, AI algorithms help sportsbooks personalize experiences by analyzing every minutia of bettor trends. This leads to one-of-a-kind suggestions for each bettor and a discover feed that’s tailored to each bettor.

Sorry, oddsmakers, but AI technology can generate the most accurate and up-to-the-second odds by analyzing anything and everything that could impact the outcome of a sporting event — weather, injuries, trends, etc. — in a millisecond and updating the moneyline or spread in real time. This is especially handy for live-betting odds.

And in a development that doesn’t benefit sportsbooks, there are also AI tools online that claim to give reliable picks and advice for sports bettors. ChatGPT doesn’t do this. But Sportspicker AI, from Unanimous AI, does. On its site, Sportspicker AI claims it’s “the only sports forecasting system proven to beat Vegas in rigorous academic studies.”

(For a fee, of course.)

Focusing on live sporting events

North Carolina sportsbooks may focus on attendance at live sporting events more than other states, simply because there will be retail sportsbooks at so many NC sports venues. (Meanwhile, other states, such as Massachusetts, don’t allow sportsbooks at sports stadiums and arenas.)

The NC sports betting law allows for retail sportsbooks at eight brick-and-mortar locations:

  • PNC Arena in Raleigh (Carolina Hurricanes)
  • North Wilkesboro Speedway (NASCAR)
  • Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte (Carolina Panthers, Charlotte FC)
  • WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary (North Carolina Courage)
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR)
  • Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte
  • Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro
  • Spectrum Center in Charlotte (Charlotte Hornets)

That means NC sportsbooks could have the opportunity to cross-promote their retail venues and online apps to fans of five major professional sports leagues (Panthers/NFL, Hurricanes/NHL, Hornets/NBA, Charlotte FC/MLS and NC Courage/NWSL) and, of course, NASCAR.

There’s opportunity there. Baker believes operators will try to better figure out how to seize that opportunity in the coming years.

In the meantime, explore our comprehensive guide to the latest sports betting promotions in NC, showcasing the very best NC sportsbook deals on offer.

About the Author

Matthew Bain

Matthew Bain started as a Content Manager for Catena Media sites in 2022. He covered the launch of Massachusetts sports betting and the Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 battle in California. Before that, he spent six years as a sports reporter and then deputy sports editor for the Des Moines Register, during which time he won nine statewide journalism awards, including the Genevieve Mauck Stoufer Outstanding Young Iowa Journalists Award. As deputy sports editor, Matthew oversaw the Register's recruiting coverage while also innovating the outlet's high school sports coverage. Matthew graduated from San Diego State and grew up in California, but he's somehow a Boston Celtics fan. Long story.