Online sportsbooks that submitted completed license applications last month to enter the North Carolina online sports betting market can now turn their attention to the next licensing hurdle: submitting internal controls documentation.
The North Carolina Lottery Commission’s Sports Betting Committee announced a tentative recommended deadline of Jan. 26 for NC online sportsbooks to provide proof of internal controls during a meeting on Jan. 4.
The nitty gritty of operator internal controls
Verifying the internal controls of a sportsbook is crucial as it provides regulators with a detailed plan of the operator’s administrative, accounting, fraud prevention, surveillance, and reporting procedures. Internal controls also cover network and physical security to safeguard company data and property.
The NCLC will provide operators with three documents “to guide them in what is expected for their internal controls.” The content of these documents includes:
– Instructions for the construction and submission of internal control documents.
– An internal controls checklist.
– Request form to change an approved internal control.
– Request form for a waiver of an internal control.
The commission will also meet with online sportsbook staff to answer any questions they have about the submission process.
Internal controls procedures are standard in the sports betting industry
Submitting internal controls is a standard part of the licensing process in states where sports betting is legal. Consequently, the seven operators that have submitted completed license applications should be very familiar with the internal controls process.
After helping Massachusetts navigate the successful launch of online sports betting, Sterl Carpenter, the NCLC’s deputy director of sports betting, has ample experience getting sportsbooks up to speed with internal controls compliance.
So far, the operators that have completed applications that are ahead of the pack for beginning the internal controls process are:
– FanDuel (Betfair Interactive US)
– DraftKings (Crown NC Gaming)
– Fanatics Betting & Gaming (FBG Enterprises North Carolina)
– Bet365 (Hillside)
– Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet)
– Underdog Sports Wagering
Next steps for NC sports betting operators
The NCLC’s director of gaming compliance must provide written approval of an operator’s internal controls before a sports book can begin operating in NC. In addition, all operators must receive a certificate of compliance from the NCLC.
The Committee outlined the criteria for receiving the certificate of compliance in the meeting.
Overall, 17 operators requested applications from the NCLC over the last month or so. However, only seven made the Dec. 27 recommended deadline.
Those seven are frontrunners to launching by the time online sports betting goes live in the state, while other operators could join the pack in later months as they progress through the steps of NCLC approval. This staggered approach is not unusual, as it is common for some operators to be ready on day one while others lag.
A launch date is not set yet for online sports betting; however, last month Gov. Roy Cooper made it clear that it is his wish that wagering can begin in time for men’s March Madness.