North Carolina residents could be taking advantage of online sports betting by this time next year.
The bill that would legalize online sports betting in North Carolina is making its way through the state Senate. If it becomes law, the plan is for internet wagering to make its debut in the state on Jan. 8, 2024.
That should give operators plenty of time to get the new industry ready for launch.
Ample time for sports betting launch
Every state that legalizes online sports betting handles things differently. Some opt for a long launch timeline, and others try to get the market off the ground as quickly as possible.
For now, North Carolina’s plans end up somewhere in between both sides of that spectrum.
Let’s say the state’s sports betting bill is signed into law sometime in May. That would give state regulators at least seven full months to prepare for its big debut.
Seven months is a longer timeline than some states have had to prepare for launch.
Indiana, for example, legalized sports betting in May 2019. The first sportsbooks started taking bets Sept. 1, which gave the state only three full months to prepare for launch.
Maryland, on the other hand, took much longer to get the ball rolling. Gov. Larry Hogan signed the state’s sports betting bill into law in May 2021, but sportsbooks didn’t officially launch until November 2022. That’s well over a year’s worth of runway for the industry.
Timeline depends on North Carolina Senate
For now, North Carolina’s seven-month timeline is pretty standard as far as sports betting launch windows go.
However, that timeline is hardly set in stone. There’s no guarantee the state’s sports betting bill will become law in May.
North Carolina’s bill is sitting in the state Senate, waiting to move forward. If things don’t move quickly, the state’s generous launch timeline could quickly end up rivaling Indiana’s.
The current legislative session in the Tar Heel State runs until Aug. 31.
In other words, if sports betting doesn’t reach the end zone until August, that could leave the state with only four full months to prep its new industry. It all depends on how quickly the bill moves through the state Senate.
Update: In June 2023, Governor Roy Cooper formally endorsed online sports betting legislation. Legal sportsbooks are now expected to launch in the first half of 2024. Accompanying them will be an array of top sports betting promos in NC and enticing sign-up bonuses tailored for the state’s fervent sports betting fans.