Sports betting in North Carolina won’t launch on Jan. 8 — the first date on which the new law allows for mobile sports betting in the state — as officials hash out rules and licensing issues.
The North Carolina Lottery Commission, which is charged with regulating the industry in the state, has until June 15 to launch sports betting in the state.
Several members of the commission indicated that Jan. 8 is unworkable during Tuesday’s meeting of the commission’s sports betting committee. They did not give a start date.
Sterl Carpenter, the state’s deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting, outlined the many steps that the commission still has to work through before gambling can begin. The commission is not yet accepting applications for sports wagering operators.
Once the operators submit applications, they will need to be investigated, submit to internal controls, prove that they are not accepting wagers outside of North Carolina or on federal or tribal lands within the state and they must detail their security and responsible gaming plans, Carpenter said. That is not a complete list, he added.
In order for an operator to be granted a license in the state, it must have a “written designation agreement” with certain teams, leagues or facilities in the state. No entity has yet announced a partnership with a sports betting operator. This provision was added in the state budget, months after the original legislation passed.
“January 8th is the first date, but probably won’t be the date when betting is authorized,” commissioner Ripley Rand asked Carpenter during the meeting.
“Absolutely correct,” Carpenter said.
“Thank you for clarifying this would not all be done by Jan. 8,” commissioner Cari Boyce said, indicating it would take daily meetings of the committee to meet that timeline.
The North Carolina legislature approved mobile sports betting earlier this year. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law in June.
The committee approved a vast catalog of events that can be bet on in the state, though operators don’t have to offer wagers on each of them. The committee also approved changes to its first batch of rules, including removing its controversial definition of “fantasy contests,” in part to allow the rules to move forward and the process to continue swiftly.
The full commission still must approve the catalog and the changes.