North Carolina Sports Betting Market Off To A Rousing Start, As $659 Million Bet In First 3 Weeks

The first numbers are in for North Carolina sports betting. Roughly $659 million was bet in the 21 days the market has been open.

Gross wagering revenue, the state’s term for the adjusted revenue of total wagers minus fees, promotions and paid winnings, was $66.5 million from March 11 to March 31.

The state will collected an estimated $12 million in tax revenue on that amount.

Promotional betting topped $200M in March

North Carolina sports betting consists of eight online operators. They can be accessed using a sportsbook app or website in North Carolina.

In any new market, sportsbooks budget a large chunk of money for promotional offers. These first-bet offers, bonus bets or deposit matches help attract new customers.

In March, operators reported that $202.6 million was wagered by customers using promotional offer betting credits or deposit matching funds. That accounted for 30% of the total wagers placed in the state last month, according to data from the report released by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission on April 16.

So, total wagers placed in March excluding promotions was $456.7 million. Players claimed $590.8 million in winnings.

March Madness betting kicks NC industry into high gear off starting line

North Carolina taxes gross wagering revenue at 18%. The NC Department of Revenue collects tax revenue from each licensed operator.

The state allocates 20% of sports betting tax revenue from sports betting to the 13 state universities’ athletics departments. Another 30% goes to the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund to foster job creation and investment in the state.

The remaining 50% goes to the state’s General Fund. Approximately $4 million annually is budgeted for the Department of Health and Human Services for gambling addiction education and treatment programs, the expansion of opportunities in youth sports, and for grants provided by the North Carolina Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission.

The NC State Lottery Commission, which is responsible for regulating sports betting in the Tar Heel State, will not release revenue by sportsbook. Nor will it be issuing a sport-by-sport breakdown of betting and revenue, as some other states do.

In 2023, North Carolina became the 30th state to legalize online sports betting. The market opened at noon on March 11, in time for college basketball conference tournaments and March Madness.

It’s likely that the success of North Carolina schools in the NCAA tournaments (NC State advanced to the Final Four in both men’s and women’s play) helped lead to a successful first three weeks of legal sports betting in the state.

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.