North Carolina boasts the bold claim of “First in Flight,” but they’re bringing up the rear when it comes to adding mobile sports betting to their slate of local gambling options.
The Tarheel State will now join the pack of US territories that allow for sportsbook apps to be downloaded to smartphones and tablets by residents and visitors who have reached the legal gambling age of 21.
The rollout date for North Carolina’s sports betting apps? March 11, 2024, just one day before the opening tipoff of the ACC Basketball Tournament. There are no local restrictions placed on gambling on games involving state-based programs.
Translation? Legal sports betting in North Carolina is allowed on the Tarheels, Blue Devils, Wolfpack, and the Deamon Deacons using your iPhone, iPad, or Android device.
Current sports betting laws in NC allow for eight brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and twelve mobile sportsbooks to operate. Tribal casinos in the state have offered in-person sportsbooks prior to the retail launch, but there’ll no longer be much reason to travel to their remote venues just to wager on a pro or college game.
While not spoken of publically by legislators and lobbyists, the aim of domestic NC sportsbooks is to collect sports betting revenue, even if it means cutting off area tribes. Retail sportsbooks are merely an attraction at a casino meant to lure players to games where the profit margins for the operators are higher.
Sports betting is mostly a loss leader from a physical location perspective. The data for revenue collection, when online and mobile options are introduced, results in an exponential increase due to the convenience factor.
As stated before, the profit margin is… marginal when taking action on sports betting, but if you increase your audience from thousands to millions, we’re talking about real money.
What’s also a concern for area politicians is the presence of offshore sports betting sites that can legally take wagers from locals. That’s a revenue stream that does not benefit the state, and these new mobile sportsbook apps will significantly curb that river back toward the tax collector’s office.
“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,”
Ripley Rand, Chair of the The North Carolina State Lottery Commission
Starting immediately on March 11th, sports betting in Charlotte, Raleigh, or anywhere else in North Carolina’s borders will begin. This gives local gamblers plenty of time to consider laying some action on March Madness.
No timetable has been given for the first retail sportsbook location in NC.