North Carolina State Lottery Commission approves start date for legal sports wagering

Published 1:57 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

RALEIGH – The North Carolina State Lottery Commission on Wednesday set March 11 as the day that legal sports wagering can begin in North Carolina.

Under the Sports Wagering Authorization approved by the commission, members of the public who are 21 years old or more and who have established accounts with a licensed operator can use their phone or electronic device as of noon, March 11, to place sports wagers on licensed operators’ sports wagering platforms. The Authorization also sets March 1 as the date when licensed operators can begin registering accounts for new players and accepting account deposits.

Importantly, before offering bets or registering new players, interactive sports wagering operators must obtain a license and receive a certificate of compliance issued by the Commission.

“The plan approved today means that North Carolinians will be able to place bets on their favorite teams in many of this year’s college basketball conference tournaments, including men’s tournaments in the ACC, Conference USA, the MEAC, and the AAC, as well as throughout the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments,” said Ripley Rand, chair of the commission. “Bets on sporting events have been made for as long as those events have taken place, but this time they will be legal, they will be done securely and fairly, and they will be made under rules designed to encourage responsible gaming.”

No sports wagers will be lawful in North Carolina until noon on March 11.

No licenses or certificates of compliance have yet been approved. Currently, the commission is reviewing nine applications for interactive sports wagering operators. It urges applicants to submit their proposed internal controls for review by Jan. 26 to help ensure they are ready to offer sports wagering on the first day.

“The commission and its staff have made great progress in efficiently adopting rules for sports betting, building a system to accept and review technical certifications, and assisting applicants with their applications,” said Cari Boyce, chair of the commission’s Sports Betting Committee. “This establishes the framework for a responsible gaming program in North Carolina. Now it is up to the applicants to finish the job in order to go live on March 11.”

The commission will maintain a list of licensed interactive sports wagering operators on its website, including the names of their platforms and links to their websites.

The Authorization identifies the following key dates and times:

  • Noon, March 1. Licensed operators may begin registering players, creating interactive accounts and accepting deposits.
  • Noon, March 11. Licensed operators may begin offering and accepting wagers.

The Authorization does not permit advance deposit wagering (ADW) or pari-mutuel horse race wagering. The commission and its staff are in the process of drafting rules for ADW and pari-mutuel horse race wagering and will follow the commission’s Rulemaking Policy and Procedure to provide the public with an opportunity to comment prior to adoption.

The first sports wagers will be made on mobile devices. In-person sports wagering will follow on a case-by-case basis as interested operators meet standard requirements.

The start date for sports betting in North Carolina will come more than three months ahead of the June 15 deadline set by the state law authorizing sports betting when it was approved by the N.C. General Assembly last year.