The Upside To Funding NC Sports Betting Accounts With Prepaid Cards

The NC Lottery Commission amended a minor rule about funding sports betting accounts that could do a lot of good to help NC sports bettors control their bet spend.

Rule 1E-002 addresses “acceptance of wagers” and lists several acceptable forms of payment. After receiving public comment, the NC Lottery Commission added prepaid cards, like those offered by VISA, MasterCard and American Express, to the list of acceptable forms of payment.

These cards, as long as they are “verified and non-transferable” give bettors a practical way to control their spending and protect their financial data.

North Carolina online sports betting rules take effect Jan. 8, 2024, but the market will not launch by that date. The NCLC has indicated that a launch won’t happen until after the 2024 Super Bowl on Feb. 11.

Using prepaid cards to control bet spending

After being approved by the NCLC on Dec. 13, prepaid cards will now be an acceptable way to fund wagers at all NC online sportsbooks.

Prepaid spending cards allow users to set budgets for specific expenses and keep certain spending habits separate from others. Those could be dining out, attending concerts and movies or sports betting.

Users can create an easy spending system with a clearly defined limit by setting up a prepaid card. Since they’re not tied to a bank account, prepaid cards cannot be overdrawn. For people who have a problem with overspending, funding a prepaid card before engaging in an activity gives them the opportunity to set reasonable limits that cannot be broken.

The practice of using prepaid cards to fund sports betting also instills the idea that bet spending must be budgeted separately from other spending and thus forms another way to control betting habits.

Most prepaid cards can be purchased at supermarkets, drug stores and also online. Ordering online is an easier method to personalize one’s card, which NC regulators will require for the purpose of funding sports betting accounts.

PayPal offers a prepaid MasterCard that can be easily linked to a PayPal account. American Express also offers a few different personalizable prepaid options. VISA cards, which can be purchased in various cash denominations, would also likely be accepted by the NCLC.

Protecting financial data

If you want to protect your personal banking info, using a prepaid card at your online sportsbook can help.

Because prepaid cards are not linked to a bank account, they don’t require you to leave your credit card info on file with a sportsbook.

While most legal online sportsbooks have extensive security measures in place to protect their customers’ personal and financial data, data breaches occur. If that’s a major concern for you, consider going the prepaid card route and taking your financial data out of the picture entirely.

They’re also protected from theft and loss. You can report them lost and stolen, just like debit cards, and have your preloaded funds protected and reloaded onto replacement cards.

Caveats to using prepaid cards

While they’re mostly straightforward and come with various perks and benefits, there are drawbacks to prepaid cards. Namely, the fees.

Some require a small fee (around $5) to open. Others, like PayPal’s, charge a monthly fee (also around $5) to maintain.

While many allow you to allocate some or all of a recurring payment (from a paycheck, say) onto a prepaid card, that process can sometimes take over a week.

Despite the minor fees and time delays, prepaid cards provide North Carolina residents a useful and responsible way to fund sports betting accounts.

Soon, regulators will announce a launch date and not long after that, North Carolina sports betting promos will start popping up on approved sportsbooks. Now is the time to do some research, learn the market and prepare to make the best of NC online sports betting.

About the Author

Tyler Andrews

Tyler is the Managing Editor for, covering sports, sports law, and gambling for the Tar Heel State. He has also covered similar topics for PlayTexas, PlayGeorgia, PlayCA, PlayFlorida, PlayOhio, and PlayMA. Tyler’s current focus is North Carolina’s pathway to gaming legalization.