North Carolina Sports Betting Revenue

A new era of North Carolina sports betting began on March 11, 2024 with the launch of the state’s first online sportsbooks. The state will now be able to capitalize on the licensing and tax revenue of a legal online sports betting industry.

Below is a look at the latest NC sports betting revenue numbers followed by an overview of North Carolina’s sports betting law and a rundown of the taxes and license fees the state will collect and how that money will be used.

Current North Carolina Online Sports Betting Revenue Numbers

Here is an up-to-date look at North Carolina online sports betting revenue since the March 11, 2024 launch.

Month/YearPaid Wagering RevenuePromo Wagering RevenueTotal Wagering RevenueCancelled/Void WagersAmount Paid as WinningsGross Wagering Revenue
March 2024*$456,702,602$202,605,909$659,308,541$2,062,025$590,750,303$66,496,213

*Totals from March 11-31, 2024

Expanded legal sports betting in North Carolina

Gov. Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law back in June 2023. The state’s budget bill subsequently amended the law and ultimately resulted in the authorization of up to 13 online sportsbooks in the state. It also expanded retail sports betting at the state’s pro sports venues, including racetracks and two PGA golf courses, although no new retail sites have opened as yet.

The law charges the North Carolina Lottery Commission (NCLC) with the task of regulating the industry. As a result, the NCLC established the rules and regulations for sports betting, and also oversees the licensing process for operators. The NCLC also provides the monthly reports on online sports betting revenue compiled above.

Eight online sportsbooks launched in North Carolina on March 11, 2024:

  • Bet365
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • ESPN Bet
  • Fanatics
  • FanDuel
  • Underdog Sports

Note that retail sports betting was already legal in North Carolina at the state’s three tribal casinos, Harrah’s CherokeeHarrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and Catawba Two Kings Casino. All three casinos have in-person sportsbooks, although as tribal casinos they are not obligated to report revenue totals. Each of the state’s two federally-recognized tribes, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Nation, are also eligible to offer online sports betting. The Cherokees have partnered with Caesars for their online sportsbook, while the Catawba tribe has yet to partner with an online operator.

Tax rate on North Carolina sports betting revenue

Sportsbook operators are taxed at 18% in North Carolina. The North Carolina House had originally proposed a 14% tax, but the Senate increased the rate. The state taxes operators on its gross wagering revenue, which North Carolina law defines as “the total of amounts received by an interactive sports wagering operator from sports wagers as authorized under this Article less the amounts paid as winnings before any deductions for expenses, fees, or taxes.”

Operators in the state will not be allowed to deduct promotional spending from their gross gaming revenue.

Two of North Carolina’s neighbors, Virginia and Tennessee, offer legal sports betting. Virginia’s tax rate is 15%. Tennessee had previously imposed a tax rate of 20% on gross gaming revenue. However, starting in July 2023, Tennessee began taxing operators based on the betting handle (total amount bet) instead of revenue at a rate of 1.85%.

Legal sports betting states similar in size to NC have varying tax rates. Michigan taxes online sports betting operators at 8.4%. Detroit’s three casinos pay an additional 1.25% municipal services fee on their online sports betting revenue. Ohio, which launched sports betting Jan. 1, 2023, doubled its tax rate on operators after only six months, increasing it from 10% to 20%.

Projected tax revenue from North Carolina sports betting

Many variables will determine how much tax revenue will be generated from sports betting. Those variables include the number of sportsbooks offering bets, the amount and types of wagers sportsbooks can offer, how much money North Carolina bettors are betting and how much they win.

The North Carolina General Assembly’s Fiscal Research Division estimated that sports betting would generate $64.6 million in taxes in its first year, reaching $100.6 million in the fourth year.

Neighboring Virginia generated $51.8 million in sports betting tax revenue in 2022. In Michigan, online sports betting generated $13.7 million in tax revenue in 2022.

Where does North Carolina sports betting tax revenue go?

North Carolina’s sports betting law prescribes several uses for tax revenue, including up to $500,000 for NCLC expenses. Money will also be directed in the following order of priority:

Responsible gaming ($2 million)

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) will get money for gambling addiction education and treatment programs, including the Stacked Deck curriculum. NCDHHS provides problem gambling treatment and recovery services, including online and in-person education and training for counselors and prevention and outreach programs, to promote responsible gambling in North Carolina.

Youth sports ($1 million)

North Carolina Amateur Sports will receive money to expand youth sports opportunities through a grant program. The law says awards should be used to buy youth sports equipment or to upgrade and improve public facilities that would benefit youth sports.

College athletic departments ($300,000 each)

Thirteen state universities, including five Historically Black Colleges and Universities, will get $300,000 annually to support their athletic departments. The 13 schools in line for NC sports betting tax revenue:

  • Appalachian State University;
  • East Carolina University;
  • Elizabeth City State University;
  • Fayetteville State University;
  • North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University;
  • North Carolina Central University;
  • University of North Carolina at Asheville;
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte;
  • University of North Carolina at Greensboro;
  • University of North Carolina at Pembroke;
  • University of North Carolina at Wilmington;
  • Western Carolina University; and
  • Winston-Salem State University.

North Carolina Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission grants ($1 million)

The commission can grant up to $5,000 to help teams travel to in-state or out-of-state sporting events and up to $25,000 to attract state, regional, area and national sporting events.

Remaining proceeds

If tax revenue exists after distribution to the above entities, the remaining revenue will be divided in three ways:

  • 50%: To the state’s General Fund;
  • 30%: To the North Carolina Major Events, Games and Attractions Fund; and
  • 20%: Distributed equally to the above 13 universities for additional athletic department support.

North Carolina sports betting licensing fees

Each of the online sportsbook licenses costs $1 million for an operator, with another $1 million renewal fee after five years. Service provider licenses cost $50,000, and sports wagering supplier licenses cost $30,000.

About the Author

Jason Schaumburg

Jason Schaumburg is a content manager for Catena Media with responsibilities for NCSharp, PlayFL and PlayTexas. He has more than 20 years of journalism experience and spent nearly four years as communications director at the Illinois Lottery.