NC Promo Spending For Sports Betting Launch Second Only To Maryland

As Tar Heel State bettors helped North Carolina make an impressive dive into online sports betting last month, operators were helping to fuel the wagering activity with promo spending.

According to research firm Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, North Carolina sports betting operators outpaced every state in launch month bonus spending except for Maryland.

Back in November 2022, when Maryland legalized mobile sports betting, bonus offers were among the most important factors in enticing bettors.

How much did NC operators spend?

Last month, residents of North Carolina placed bets totaling $659 million, a noteworthy figure given that the state’s mobile betting platforms only launched on March 11. Of that amount, $202.6 million constituted wagers from betting credits or deposit matching funds from the eight NC online sportsbooks.

In typical fashion, the gaming companies unveiled a flurry of NC sportsbook promos during launch month to attract new customers. However, the state’s bonus spending was higher than almost every other recently launched market. During that 21-day period in March, North Carolina amassed approximately $12 million in tax revenue. The state’s tax rate on operators’ gross wagering revenue is 18%.

Key factors that contributed to NC’s strong first month

Three main factors drove North Carolina’s exceptional opening month. First, the simultaneous launch of all licensed online sportsbooks created a diverse market where bettors could take advantage of various promotional offers and bonuses.

Second, March Madness was underway in a state where fans follow college basketball like a religion. With several teams in North Carolina and surrounding states excelling in conference tournaments and the Big Dance, it was a heyday for basketball aficionados. Pent-up demand, along with the passion for basketball, was a good mix for operators.

And third, fans from Georgia and South Carolina streamed into North Carolina to place bets since sports betting is illegal in their home jurisdictions. Data from geolocation security and compliance firm GeoComply painted a picture of a flurry of betting activity at the state’s borders on launch day. Activity was also heavy on the Virginia border, as that state does not allow prop bets on college games. Those types of wagers are legal in the Tar Heel State and benefit North Carolina tax coffers.

NHL and NBA playoffs and promos keep bettors engaged

North Carolinians are lucky to have one of the state’s professional sports teams competing in playoff games this spring. The Carolina Hurricanes are on a quest to hoist the Stanley Cup. FanDuel has the team as the favorite to win the NHL championship.

The ongoing NBA playoffs are also attractive to bettors, especially with fans witnessing some of the most exciting game rallies in playoff history this year. Even though the Charlotte Hornets are not competing, about a dozen players from Duke and UNC are participating in the playoffs, giving home-state fans plenty of reasons to stay tuned to NBA action as sportsbooks offer league-themed promotions.

About the Author

Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She's a die-hard women's basketball fan and founded the website as a result of that passion. She loves writing about sports on all levels and has previous experience covering sports betting regulations, operator marketing campaigns and women's sports gambling topics.