It’s Time For North Carolina To Catch Up To Its Sports Betting Neighbors

North Carolina is late to the sports betting party. Some of its neighboring states already have legal online sports betting, but the Tar Heel State is lagging behind the pack.

That could be changing soon thanks to a new North Carolina online sports betting bill, but things are still up in the air. Nothing is set in stone, but at least the state will have a chance to make progress once a bill is filed.

If things go well, North Carolina can finally catch up to Tennessee and Virginia. Both states have had full-fledged sports betting industries for years now.

Tennessee and Virginia are ahead of North Carolina

Southern states in the US have been slow to embrace gambling expansion.

South Carolina and Georgia share a border with North Carolina, and neither state offers legal online sports betting. That runs in stark contrast to Tennessee and Virginia, which have both been more forward-thinking.

Internet sports betting kicked off in Tennessee back in November 2020. Residents of the Volunteer State have had more than two years to place their bets legally.

Virginia followed suit just a few months later with its launch in January 2021.

That gives bettors in those states a leg up over sports fans in North Carolina. For some bettors, it’s even worth driving over the border into these other states to place bets from their phones.

Both states beat North Carolina to the sports betting punch, but there’s still room for improvement.

Lawmakers are expected to file a new North Carolina sports betting bill any day now. Hopefully, that bill will help the state’s potential new industry get off to a hot start.

North Carolina online sports betting potential

The bad news? North Carolina is woefully behind the over two dozen states that already have online sports betting.

The good news? North Carolina doesn’t have to make the same mistakes that these other states have made. It can take the most successful parts of other industries to make itself the best of both worlds.

For example, Virginia is a great example of how North Carolina can learn from its neighbors. Virginia allows betting on college sports but not the teams that reside within the state.

Imagine that North Carolina legalizes sports betting, but you’re not allowed to place a bet on UNC basketball or Duke.

That kind of short-sided thinking is something that North Carolina can avoid in its industry going forward. It’s an anti-consumer type of policy, and it doesn’t make much sense given that the teams that bettors care the most about are their hometown teams.

Since Virginia lawmakers already made that mistake, North Carolina’s bill will hopefully be able to avoid it. We’ll know more about the potential future once a bill is officially filed, but at the very least, lawmakers in the Tar Heel State have a real opportunity to learn from the missteps of their neighbors.

Breaking News: June 2023 saw the signing of an online sports betting bill into law by Governor Roy Cooper. With online sportsbook launches firmly scheduled for the first half of 2024, be at the forefront of the action and explore the highly anticipated North Carolina sports betting promotions and welcome bonuses soon to be unveiled.

About the Author

Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.