During their Wednesday meeting, the North Carolina Lottery Commission announced the creation of a sports betting committee along with a committee charter. The committee is necessary “considering the significant undertaking that the commission is going to have to put together in order to get sports betting off the ground,” Commission chair Ripley Rand said during the meeting.
North Carolina online sports betting and expanded retail sports betting will go live sometime between Jan. 8 and June 14, 2024.
Sports betting committee responsibilities
Members of the newly-formed committee are Rand along with Commissioners Cari Boyce and Pamela Whitaker.
“All matters involving sports betting will go to this committee as an initial matter except for matters that need to be dealt with by the Commission on an emergency basis,” Rand said. This includes pari-mutuel horse race wagering issues as well.
All commissioners present at the meeting approved the sports betting committee charter. The primary duty of the committee according to the charter is “to ensure that the agency is conducting its rulemaking and regulatory oversight responsibilities in accordance with Chapter 18C of the North Carolina General Statutes and in a manner that serves the best interests of the State of North Carolina, is fair, and transparent.”
The list of committee responsibilities in the charter:
- Coordinating with agency staff to ensure rule making is administered in accordance with the agency’s Rulemaking Policy and Procedure.
- Coordinating with agency staff to ensure that gaming is administered and regulated with the highest level of integrity.
- Coordinating with agency staff to impose sanctions and penalties on licensees and the regulated public, as necessary.
- Reviewing contracts with sports betting vendors.
- Working with the executive director and the deputy executive directors, keeping informed of changes in the sports betting industry and assisting in generating ideas to promote rules and policies that further the integrity and confidence in the Commission’s exercise of its statutory duties.
Committee Member Details and Background
Members of the committee will be appointed annually. The Commission Chair has the “power at any time to change the membership of the Committee and to fill vacancies on it.” The committee charter will also be reviewed by the commission at least annually.
All three committee members were appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper.
- Rand is a partner in the Raleigh law firm Womble Bond Dickinson and has also served as a prosecutor and judge. His term on the commission expires Aug. 31, 2026.
- Boyce is a former executive with Duke Energy. She also has a background in state government. Currently, she is an adviser in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina. Her term ends Aug. 31, 2028.
- Whitaker chairs the Commission’s Operations and Personnel Committee. She is a retired human relations professional and previously served on the lottery commission from 2008 to 2012. Her term ends Aug. 31, 2026.
The commission appointed a deputy executive director for sports betting, Sterl Carpenter, in August. Carpenter is a 35-year veteran in the gaming industry. Additional sports betting-related hires include two associate attorneys added to the commission’s legal staff to help craft the sports wagering licensing framework.
NC Sports Betting Market Outlook
There is no cap on the number of online operators that will be able to apply for a sports betting license. However, each applicant will be required to obtain a written agreement from a sports venue, sports team or sports governing body. The number of teams, venues and governing bodies operating in the state is 11. Each of those entities can only offer one written agreement.
NCSharp projects $6-$7 billion in online sports betting handle during year one of expanded sports wagering.