BetMGM’s Historic Super Bowl Buoys Hopes For NC Sports Betting Launch

A profitable Super Bowl week with 72% year over year increase in new customers has buoyed MGM’s hopes that BetMGM Sportsbook will be a prominent brand when North Carolina online sports betting launches on March 11.

We’ll have to wait a few more weeks to see numbers from February for BetMGM Sportsbook, but given the high ratings for Super Bowl 58, it should be impressive wagering figures. According to several news reports, including data from Geocomply, record traffic was reported for online sports betting apps across the United States.

BetMGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle touted his company’s growth after the historic Super Bowl in Las Vegas and sports betting activity that reportedly shattered many records. Spurred by that success, the well-known gaming brand could be poised to enter the NC sports betting market with momentum.

When will BetMGM Sportsbook launch in North Carolina?

NC online sportsbooks will be available to accept wagers at noon on March 11. Customers 21 and over can create and fund accounts and receive NC sportsbook promo offers starting March 1.

BetMGM Sportsbook NC is anticipated to be available on day one in the Tar Heel State. The company applied for a sports betting operator license, but the NC State Lottery Commission and its Sports Betting Comittee have yet to issue formal licenses.

In January, BetMGM announced a partnership with Charlotte Motor Speedway to gain access to the sports betting market. In NC, sportsbooks must have an agreement with a professional sports team or select sports venues to be eligible for a license.

Where could BetMGM rank in the NC sports betting market?

In most states, DraftKings and FanDuel rank in some order as the top two sportsbooks by total handle (dollars of wagers accepted). We often see BetMGM and Caesars among the next tier of sportsbooks.

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The landscape of sportsbooks has never been more competitive, although the field has thinned in recent months. Last year, PENN Entertainment rebranded its product to ESPN Bet. That sportsbook will be operating in North Carolina, joining BetMGM and others.

For example, in Ohio, which launched its market in Jan. 2023, FanDuel and DraftKings are 1-2, followed by BetMGM, bet365, ESPN Bet (formerly Barstool), and Caesars. BetMGM has about 6% of the market share in Ohio.

New York has become the largest sports betting market in the U.S. BetMGM Sportsbook is fourth, behind FanDuel, DraftKings, and Caesars. Its market share in NY is 5.6%.

It’s reasonable to expect BetMGM to earn at least 5% of the market share in North Carolina.

DraftKings Sportsbook NC and FanDuel Sportsbook NC will perform well in the state, as elsewhere. ESPN Bet saw a fine debut in a handful of markets last November, but there is evidence that the sportsbook acquired record customers due to exorbitant spending on promo offers. In January, ESPN BET finished a distant fourth in Michigan, based on total handle, after a strong third-place showing in November for the two weeks it was available.

Yet another competitor could gobble up market share in NC online sports betting: Fanatics Sportsbook NC. That brand is still establishing itself as a newer offering to consumers and it is willing to spend. This includes developing retail sportsbooks, including at PNC Arena, to complement its online offerings.

For its part, BetMGM is slowly rolling out a new generation of its sportsbook app in a few states. North Carolina will get that version when NC online sportsbooks open for business.

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.