Pro Teams Might Have A Say In Future NC Sports Betting Operators

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
North Carolina Sports Betting

North Carolina lawmakers are pushing for changes in a new state budget proposal that could impact the upcoming launch of North Carolina sports betting. Among the changes, local professional teams would gain a say in who is approved for North Carolina sports betting licenses. They will likely vote on the $30 billion budget proposal this week, just months before the state’s highly-anticipated launch of sports betting.

Lawmakers Look To Alter Sports Betting Regulations

Details from the budget proposal show that it would change the language that limits the market to 12 mobile operators. A new stipulation would require operators to receive a “written designation agreement” with a local team for approval. This also includes agreements with owners of sports facilities or NASCAR and PGA Tour.

“Commission shall authorize no more than 12 only license interactive sports wagering operators who have a written designation agreement in accordance with G.S. 18C-905 to offer and accept sports wagers on sporting events which shall include any of the following:
(1) Professional sports.
(2) College sports.
(3) Electronic sports.
(4) Amateur sports.
(5) Any other event approved by the Commission in accordance with this Article.”

General Assembly Budget Bill Session 2023

The current law signed by Gov. Roy Cooper does not mention these written agreements. If approved, the licensing process in North Carolina will get a tad bit more complicated for operators.

Pro Teams Gain Control

The changes will require operators to gain partnerships with teams to be considered for a license. This is not unusual, as markets like Arizona and Ohio have similar requirements. However, this could further delay the sports betting launch in North Carolina since operators would now need to curate these deals before applying for a license.

North Carolina law still requires operators to pay a $1 million application fee and present their initial business plan, in addition to securing a partnership. The North Carolina Lottery also wants applicants to present a “documented history of economic investment in this state.”

Applicants will need to present a plan for job creation in North Carolina and show a commitment to improving infrastructure and further tourism and entertainment. These, alongside the proposed designation agreements, could potentially delay when those in the state get to place their first legal wagers.