Governor Roy Cooper has signed HB 347, known as the sports wagering bill, into law. His signature will usher in legal sports betting in North Carolina at some point during 2024.
The bill will allow for gambling on professional and college sports, as well as some amateur contests.
During a signing ceremony that occurred yesterday, the Governor was accompanied by professional sports teams and companies that were backing the sports betting legislation.
These parties included the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL, the PGA, and NASCAR.
When Will Sports Betting Debut In NC?
The earliest possible date that sportsbooks could open for business in NC is January 8th. There is a deadline of June 14th for granting licenses to sportsbook operators, giving local gamblers hope that they’ll be open before the 2024 NFL season begins.
Under this new law, both brick-and-mortar, online, and mobile sports betting will be allowed. There are already three retail sportsbooks in place at North Carolina tribal casinos, but those venues are isolated and nowhere near the state’s more populated cities.
The minimum gambling age is set at 21 years old, leaving a loophole where some 18-friendly offshore sportsbook sites can still retain a foothold in North Carolina.
The inclusion of domestic sports betting apps will curb any interest in traveling across the border into Virginia and using their mobile sportsbooks. There is still some lure from Tennessee as their mobile sports betting applications have a minimum age requirement of 18.
Sportsbooks In North Carolina Stadiums And Arenas
For those looking to do some sports betting in Charlotte, there could be several local sportsbooks popping up and local stadiums, arenas, and NASCAR tracks.
Venues currently pegged to host sportsbook locations are the Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Spectrum Center, and the Quail Hollow Club.
“We will now have the opportunity to build a world-class sports-wagering facility to expand the entertainment options around PNC Arena.”
Don Waddell – President and General Manager of the Carolina Hurricanes
Those locations appear positioned to take up half of the eight total licenses that the North Carolina State Lottery Commission will be allowed to issue.
The Commission will also issue twelve mobile/online licenses to vendors like DraftKings and FanDuel. These licenses will be issued in 5-year increments.
The Revenue Potential For North Carolina
After all expenses are paid, North Carolina taxpayers can expect a boost of $71 million annually to state budgets. Portions of these proceeds will be directed toward public school funding and teacher pay, as well as support for problem gaming.
We find these estimates to be on the high side. Consider this. North Carolina is the 9th most populated state in the country, with just under 11 million residents.
Michigan has roughly the same population, features the same sports betting opportunities, and collected $14,572,367 in 2022. The NC tourism industry could increase those numbers, but $71 million seems unlikely any time soon.