Meet The Team Charged With Launching, Regulating NC Sports Betting

An air of excitement is sweeping through the state as bettors will soon be able to wager on all kinds of sporting events, from professional to collegiate.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law last week, making online sports betting in North Carolina a reality.

The bill passed with bipartisan support in the General Assembly. It puts the North Carolina Lottery Commission in charge of sports betting. The commission will decide when wagering can begin. By law, online sports betting can launch no sooner than Jan. 8 and no later than June 14, 2024.

“This Commission and the staff have been tasked with the enormous responsibility of licensing and regulating the newly enacted wagering activities while at the same time maintaining the quality work and standards of integrity with the Lottery,” said Ripley Rand, chair of the commission.

The NC Lottery Commission and its function

Set up in 2005, the North Carolina Lottery Commission is defined by law as an independent, self-supporting and revenue-raising agency of the state. Underneath the North Carolina Department of Commerce, it is tasked with overseeing the operations of the NC Lottery.

However, under North Carolina’s new sports betting and horse-race wagering law, the commission will also be responsible for interactive sports wagering, advanced deposit wagering, service providers and sports wagering suppliers.

Likewise, the Lottery Commission is tasked with approving events that can be wagered on, issuing penalties for noncompliance with regulations and creating a voluntary exclusion program. The commission will also collect a daily summary of all sports wagering activity from operators.

Among other things, the new law entrusts the NC Lottery Commission to fulfill the following duties:

  • Create rules and regulations for sports betting and horse racing wagering;
  • Support responsible gaming and implementing and administering new licensing programs; and
  • Prepare, monitor and enforce the law and rules.

Lottery Commission makeup and membership

According to the North Carolina State Lottery Act, the commission comprises nine members. The governor appoints five. The General Assembly appoints four members upon the recommendation of the Senate president (two members) and the speaker of the House (two members).

The governor also reserves the right to pick the commission chair from among its members.

Of the governor’s five initial appointees to the commission, three serve a one-year term, one serves a term of two years and the final member serves a three-year term.

Of the four initial appointments made by the General Assembly, two members – one each recommended by the Senate leader and House speaker – serve a two-year term and two serve a three-year term.

All succeeding appointments are for five-year terms, and members may not serve for more than two consecutive terms. None of the members receive a salary. At least once a quarter, the commission meets at the chair’s request.

Here are the nine commission members appointed by the governor and the Legislature.

Ripley Rand (chair)

Appointed to the commission by Cooper in September 2021, Rand is a partner at the law firm Womble Bond Dickinson in Raleigh. He has more than 25 years of experience as a prosecutor and judge.

Rand, who lives in Raleigh, serves as commission chair and sits on the Operations and Personnel Committee, the Revenue Generating Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee. His term expires Aug. 31, 2026.

Cari Boyce

Boyce, appointed by Cooper in 2021, recently retired from Duke Energy as senior vice president for enterprise, strategy and planning. Boyce has more than 30 years of management experience in the public and private sectors. She is as an adviser in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina.

She serves on the Operations and Personnel Committee for the Lottery Commission, and her term ends Aug. 31.

Lindsey Griffin

Griffin, a native of Pitt County, is a retired commercial contractor with 35 years of commercial landscaping expertise. He also serves on the Greenville Utilities Commission.

Griffin, appointed by House Speaker Tim Moore, serves on the Lottery Commission’s Operations and Personnel Committee. His term ends Aug. 31.

Chris Hayes

Hayes is a senior director of state government affairs with Reynolds American. For 25 years, Hayes, who lives in Winston-Salem, worked in North Carolina government, once serving as chief of staff for former House Speaker Thom Tillis. He also was deputy chief of staff in Tillis’ US Senate office.

Hayes, appointed by Senate leader Phil Berger, serves on the Finance and Audit Committee. His term ends Aug. 31, 2027.

Randy Jones

Jones, appointed by Moore, is a real estate broker who also serves as chair of the economic development board of Johnston County. Jones, who lives in Pine Level, is also general managing partner of RJS Limited and owner of JonRae LLC.

Jones serves on the Finance and Audit Committee. His term ends Aug. 31, 2027.

Nigel Long

Long is founder and senior managing director of Trade Street Advisors, LLC. Long, who lives in Charlotte, is also founder and president of The Dilworth Companies, a private investment firm.

Long, who was appointed by Cooper, chairs the Revenue Generating Committee. His term ends Aug. 31, 2027.

Joshua Malcolm

A lifelong resident of Robeson County, Malcolm is president and CEO of Lumbee Tribe Holding – the for-profit arm of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Malcolm serves on the NC State Bar Council and the NC Medical Board.

Malcolm, appointed by Cooper, serves on the Revenue Generating Committee. His term ends Aug. 31, 2026.

Jason Roth

Roth. who lives in Cary, is the CFO and president of ATM USA. His previous roles include tax consultant with Deloitte & Touché, LLP and chief operating officer for US Armored, LLC.

Roth, appointed by Berger, chairs the Finance and Audit Committee. His term ends Aug. 31.

Pamela Whitaker

Whitaker, who lives in Winston-Salem, is a retired human relations professional with over 30 years of experience in the field. She previously served on the Lottery Commission from 2008 to 2012.

Whitaker, appointed by Cooper, chairs the Operations and Personnel Committee. Her team ends Aug. 31, 2026.

About the Author

Rashid Mohamed

Rashid Mohamed is a freelance news reporter covering sports, sports betting, gambling laws, and casino business for Catena Media. He writes for a number of sites including NCSharp, PlayTexas, PlayCA, and PlayOhio.