Will This Be The Last March Madness Without North Carolina Online Sports Betting?

When it comes to basketball betting, nothing drums up more interest than March Madness. The 2023 tournament could be the last one that North Carolina residents won’t have access to online sports betting for.

North Carolina sports betting already exists, but only at three in-person sportsbooks located at the state’s tribal casinos.

Online wagering would change the game for basketball fans. North Carolina’s new online betting bill could finally make that a reality for the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina sports betting could start next year

Lawmakers introduced a new online sports betting bill earlier this week. The bill is making its way through the state’s House of Representatives.

If it succeeds, North Carolina online sportsbooks could be open for business on Jan. 1, 2024. Find out about all the top bonuses expected to be on offer post-launch in our our complete guide to North Carolina Sportsbook Promos

However, it’s important to note that the current version of the bill isn’t set in stone. That launch date is an unofficial target, and the goalposts could move in as the bill makes its way through the statehouse.

Despite that, it’s still an exciting possibility to think about.

An early January launch would put 2024 March Madness betting on the table for fans in North Carolina. Being able to place bets from home would be much more convenient compared with the other options bettors already have.

Current bill includes betting on college sports

Good news for future sports bettors in North Carolina: the current version of the bill would allow betting on college sports.

That includes betting on in-state college teams, a contentious issue in previous years. Last year’s sports betting bill removed betting on in-state teams from the equation.

Imagine having access to legal online sports betting, but not being able to place a bet on Duke during its March Madness runs. That’s a situation fans around the state would not be happy with.

Sports fans typically care the most about their hometown teams, so the current version of the bill including in-state college betting is an important caveat.

Of course, that is still subject to change over the course of the next few weeks and months. There’s no guarantee in-state college betting will still be a part of the bill if it makes it to the governor’s desk.

Regardless, 2023 could be the final March Madness that North Carolina residents won’t be able to bet on online. The future looks bright for the state, so next year’s tournament could be the most important one yet for North Carolina.

About the Author

Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.