NC Exceeds Sports Betting Expectations With $649M In First-Month Bets

The North Carolina Lottery Commission released its first full-month report on NC sports betting revenue since mobile betting launched on March 11. The total handle, or amount bet, during April 2024 exceeded expectations at $648.9 million for the state’s eight licensed operators. Of that total, bettors were paid out $538.4 million.

Gross betting revenue totaled $105.3 million for the month. Combined with the 21 days with betting live in March, the state’s sportsbooks have brought in $171.7 million in revenue, with around $31 million in tax dollars going to the state.

NC Sports Betting Revenue for April 2024

Month/YearPaid Wagering RevenuePromo Wagering RevenueTotal Wagering RevenueCancelled/Void WagersAmount Paid as WinningsGross Wagering Revenue
March 2024*$456,702,602$202,605,909$659,308,541$2,062,025$590,750,303$66,496,213
April 2024$569,283,605$79,650,621$648,934,226$5,280,581$538,401,972$105,251,672
May 2024$494,602,507$30,946,064$525,548,571$3,800,589$458,667,635$63,080,347
TOTALS$1,520,588,744$313,202,594 $1,833,791,338 $11,143,195$1,587,819,910$234,828,232

*Totals from March 11-31, 2024

Last month, Sterl Carpenter, the NCLC’s deputy director of sports betting, made a prediction on March’s total wagering revenue based on figures from the first week of sports betting. Using Massachusetts (first month handle of $548.2 million) for comparison, Carpenter said they were projecting $594.3 million in handle for North Carolina’s first month.

Robust betting activity helped NC exceed those figures for March and continue an upward trajectory into April. The lottery commission does not provide a breakdown of the handle for each sportsbook, so market share is not known.

Nearly $19 Million in Tax Revenue

State law mandates an 18% tax on each online operator’s gross wagering revenue. In April, the state collected $105,251,672 in gross wagering revenue, which yielded approximately $18.9 million in tax revenue.

March’s tax yield was approximately $12 million.

Decrease in Promo Spending Doesn’t Affect Betting Activity

After subtracting promo bets, the total the books paid out in April was $569.3 million, up from $456.7 million in March. In addition, total promo wagering was significantly higher in March than in April.

Sportsbooks spent heavily to entice bettors in March with welcome offers. Players used $202.6 million in promotional funds in March, compared to $79.7 million in April.

The total bet spend of $1.3 billion is already one-third of the state’s projected totals for year one. NCSharp made its own projection, anticipating between $6 and $7 billion in total bet spending for year one of NC sports betting.

March Madness Helped NC Off To a Hot Start

March and April were good months for sports fans in North Carolina as the state’s top men’s and women’s basketball teams competed in the NCAA tournament. In addition, bettors streamed into North Carolina from surrounding states where sports betting is still not legal or states where betting on in-state college teams is prohibited.

May should bring strong numbers as well with betting options aplenty.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Ryan Sun

About the Author

Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She's a die-hard women's basketball fan and founded the website Hoopfeed.com as a result of that passion. She loves writing about sports on all levels and has previous experience covering sports betting regulations, operator marketing campaigns and women's sports gambling topics.