UNC-Pembroke AD Discusses Sports Betting in North Carolina

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Written By Giovanni Shorter | Last Updated
NC Sports Betting

Later this year, online sportsbooks will launch in North Carolina. The North Carolina sports betting market is expected to bring in millions in annual revenue for the state. Also affected by this new market will be local colleges. UNC-Pembroke Athletic Director Dick Christy discussed how the incoming betting market affects schools in an interview with WUNC 91.5.

How Sports Betting Affects North Carolina Colleges

Local North Carolina schools, including UNC-Pembroke, will receive $1 million in funding from sports betting. The purpose of this stopgap funding is to kick off the revenue share from sports betting out the gate. Christy further explains:

“That was a one-time funding provision from the House and it’s a two-year set-up to try and allow sports betting revenues to get on their feet. So, there’s $1 million in this fiscal year, there’s $700,000 in next fiscal year with the hope that sports betting will begin to self-sustain from there,” said Dick Christy.

“But I think the stopgap funding is a sign of just how much research and how much work the Board of Governors and the UNC System and the legislature did, and kind of all working hand-in-hand to see there is a real and legitimate and immediate need at a lot of these institutions. For UNC-P, this money is largely going to backfill a lot of lost revenue for us. For the Division I schools, a lot of that money is already spent. There’s extension of healthcare resources, there’s extensive insurance, there’s mental health counselor requirements, there’s a lot of things that are new expenses for a lot of mid majors that now have to find a way to execute if they want to stay at the Division I level.”

The ten UNC System schools will be splitting 20% of the annual tax revenue from NC sportsbooks. An estimated $300-$1.5 million a year will be allocated to these colleges, according to experts. This number could even increase to a potential $1.8 million based on recent reports.

Christy explains that the added revenue will be “game-changing” for UNC-Pembroke. North Carolina sports betting revenue will aid the smaller schools in sustaining funding for the athletics department.

Potential Concerns Surrounding The Sports Betting Market

Christy also explained the potential issues associated with a sports betting market. The Athletic Director believes that it is important to maintain the hardline between betting and those involved in collegiate athletics. During the regulatory process, one of the main pushback from detractors was this. Lawmakers will work to ensure there are measures in place to avoid affecting the integrity of the game.

“There still has to be a hard line for anybody that works in college athletics or is associated with college athletics. I mean, it’s just a non-starter. You can’t participate in it,” said Christy. “You know, so that part and that educational process hasn’t changed. When you look at all the stories about the point shaving scandals and things like that – we still have to have a strong educational component to make sure they realize this is not for you.

“Now, what we’ve seen from some of these other states through interaction with the NCAA and their enforcement staff, it gives them an opportunity to come alongside those gaming commissions and actually patrol and monitor it more, to be able to have better access, tracking IP addresses, doing geofencing, and having an understanding of who is engaged in betting and making sure it’s not somebody that’s not supposed to be. So, I think it will be an opportunity to actually maybe clamp down even further and let the NCAA monitor this more closely.”

Sports betting in North Carolina does not yet have an official launch date. However, Christy shows that local schools are in anticipation of the revenue boost expected from the new betting market.