The North Carolina Lottery Commission, the regulator of the state’s new online sports betting industry, launched a sports betting web page Friday.
The page, which went live two days after Gov. Roy Cooper signed online sports betting and horse-race betting into law, provides information and updates on the launch of sports betting and horse-race wagering in North Carolina.
The state now has a window of Jan. 8, 2024, to June 14, 2024, to get North Carolina online sports betting up and running, which commission Chair Ripley Rand addressed Friday:
“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 highest standards of integrity with the Lottery,” Rand said in a news release. “Many people want to know when North Carolina will begin permitting legal sports betting. The Commission and staff take these responsibilities seriously and are committed to ensuring the job is done in a complete, professional, transparent, and timely manner. We will keep the public up to date about when these programs will launch.”
Sports betting website a resource for all stakeholders
The NC Education Lottery’s new sports betting web page provides “initial information about the new law, and will share new information about licensing and regulation as it becomes available,” a news release from the commission said.
Visitors to the site can find a simplified overview of the new law and responsible gambling resources, a space for posting links to future regulatory meetings and an FAQ section designed more for residents.
The site pledges that the commission is working to get sports betting and horse-race wagering up and running “as soon as practicable” with regard to responsibility and accuracy.
No license applications at this time
It appears the page will also serve as the hub for sports betting and horse-race wagering licenses. However, “no applications for licenses for sports betting or for advanced deposit wagering associated with horse racing are available at this time.”
Before licenses can be offered to operators, the commission has numerous key steps to take to ensure a smooth regulatory flow. As outlined in the news release, the commission will do the following before accepting any new applications:
- Hire the staff to develop and implement the program;
- Draft and adopt rules and regulations to govern sports betting and horse racing wagering activities, including requirements to support responsible betting; and
- Prepare applications and other forms for those seeking licenses.
Within the staffing process, the commission “has started a national search for an experienced senior leader in gaming and sports betting to develop, implement and manage North Carolina’s sports betting and horse race wagering programs.”
No timetable has been presented for establishing this infrastructure, but it should be noted North Carolina is starting this process from a standstill as the state has no current gaming infrastructure in place.
As Cooper expressed after signing House Bill 347, “everyone wants to see [legal sports betting] by the first of the year if at all possible.”
How will the commission react under pressure, and will it reach a target launch date in time for some of the major annual sporting events? These concerns will be top-of-mind for all sports betting and horse-race wagering stakeholders in North Carolina.