Spectrum Center Will Host March Madness For First Time In NC Online Sports Betting Era

This March for the first time, the Spectrum Center in Charlotte will host NCAA College Basketball Tournament games open to online sports betting.

NC online sports betting launches March 11, and college basketball fans will be able to bet on the Tar Heels, NC Wolfpack, Duke Blue Devils and other state schools competing in March Madness.

No retail sports betting at Spectrum Center

Fans at Spectrum Center and those watching on television will notice the presence of sports betting in the arena.

Bet365 Sportsbook NC is the official sports betting partner of the Charlotte Hornets, who call the venue home. Of course, the broadcasts will be on either CBS or the family of TBS networks. They will feature commercials from one or more sportsbook advertisers.

Spectrum Center does not yet have a retail sportsbook, but fans in attendance who have an active account with an NC sportsbook can place wagers via their mobile devices.

An email to Spectrum asking about special considerations for sports betting during first-round games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was answered with a link to the NCAA’s guidelines for responsible gambling.

History of March Madness Games at Spectrum Center

First round games of the 2024 NCAA tournament will take place at the Spectrum Center, and the top March Madness betting sites will have action on all of them.

Prior to this year, the last NCAA Tournament game at Spectrum Center (which opened in 2005) was played in 2018. The venue also hosted March Madness games in 2015, 2011, and 2008.

The NCAA Regionals took place at the arena in 2008. The Spectrum Center has never hosted the Final Four.

March Madness and North Carolina Schools

Many consider North Carolina the cradle of college basketball. The state is home to Duke, the University of North Carolina, NC State, Wake Forest, UNC-Charlotte, and other Division I college hoops programs.

This season, as of Feb. 28, Duke is ranked No. 9, and UNC is ranked No. 10 in the AP Top 25. The ACC Tournament, which begins March 12, will greatly determine how many NC teams make it to March Madness. The Blue Devils and Tar Heels could meet in that tournament.

North Carolina currently sits first in the ACC, with Duke in second. Wake Forest, undefeated at home, has 18 wins in February and is almost certain to make the March Madness tournament. NC State (17-10 as of Feb. 27) will need to add more W’s to get into the dance.


Image Credit: Chuck Burton / AP Images

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.