Proposed Sports Betting Rules Limit Naming Rights For NC Sportsbooks

If rules from the North Carolina Lottery Commission are approved, sportsbooks will be prohibited from purchasing the naming rights to sports venues in the state.

Rule 1-H-002 states that “No Operator shall contract for or purchase the right to name a Sports Facility or racetrack, or any physical locations within the Sports Facility or racetrack …” This restriction applies to seating locations, luxury boxes, concourses, the playing field or floor, holes of a golf course, locker rooms and more.

Essentially, sports betting operators will be prohibited from attaching their brand names to any part of a sporting venue in North Carolina.

Online sports betting in North Carolina will launch in 2024, between January and as late as June 14, by statute. Gov. Roy Cooper signed NC online sportsbooks into law on June 14, 2023.

Naming rights among lengthy package of NC sports betting rules

That rule and dozens more comprise the second batch of rules of proposed regulatory language on sports betting operators from the NCLC. The public can submit comments on the proposed rules until Nov. 27, 2023.

The NCLC will host a public hearing on Nov. 20, 2023, at 9 a.m., at the North Carolina State Lottery
Commission Headquarters (2728 Capital Boulevard, Suite 144, Raleigh, NC 27604).

The extensive list of proposed rules originates from Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting Sterl Carpenter. They form the second round of sports betting rules from the NCLC.

Limits on naming rights for online sports betting operators are typical in other states that have legalized the activity. North Carolina seeks to disallow companies like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars from buying naming rights of a sports venue.  However, those operators could use their brand names on a retail sportsbook in a stadium, arena, racetrack, etc. That means in-person sportsbooks would still be known by the name of their partnered betting operator.

The NCLC, mandated under state law to regulate sports betting and horse wagering, provides public hearing information on its website. The commission’s rule-making process will result in finalized regulations in the North Carolina State Lottery Commission’s Rules Manual for Sports Wagering and Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

Licensed sports betting operators must adhere to those rules to do business in the Tar Heel State. In October, the commission held its first rule-making hearings and issued a first round of proposed language.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.