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  • Theresa Opeka / Carolina Journal

NC Lottery Commission announces first companies to receive sports betting licenses

Just in time for March Madness, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission (NCSLC) announced Thursday that seven companies will receive the first sports betting licenses in the state.

They are:

  • Betfair Interactive US, LLC (dba: FanDuel Sportsbook)


  • Crown NC Gaming, LLC (dba: DraftKings)

  • FBG Enterprises Opco, LLC (dba: Fanatics Sportsbook)

  • Hillside (North Carolina), LLC (dba: bet365)

  • Penn Sports Interactive, LLC (dba: ESPN BET)

  • Underdog Sports Wagering LLC

Legal sports betting in North Carolina starts on Monday, March 11. The NCAA March Madness tournament begins on March 19.

“Issuing the first interactive sports wagering operator licenses today represents a major milestone in establishing legal sports betting in North Carolina, “said Ripley Rand, chair of the NCSLC in a press release. “North Carolinians can begin signing up for accounts on their mobile devices on Friday with the confidence they will soon be able to make wagers on their favorite sporting events securely and responsibly. We’re just 11 days away from the start of sports betting in North Carolina, and we will be working every day between now and then to see that our launch is a successful one.”

North Carolinians can prepare for the first day of sports betting by registering with one of the aforementioned companies, setting up accounts, and making deposits at noon on Friday, March 1. 

Anyone 21 or older holding an account with a licensed operator can use their phone or electronic device to place sports wagers at noon on Monday, March 11. The first wagers will be made on mobile devices.

Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law last June to authorize sports betting in the Tar Heel state. During the bill signing at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte where the Charlotte Hornets play, Cooper said, “This is a historic moment for the state of North Carolina, and this will benefit our economy for generations to come.” 

Under the new law, the state will allow up to 12 online sports betting apps to operate within the state. Prospective interactive gambling operators must pay a $1 million application fee to apply for a state-issued wagering license, with an additional $1 million renewal fee after five years. The state will tax operators an 18% privilege tax for their activities.

Eight sports venues, including Charlotte’s Spectrum Center, can apply for in-person sports books. Other NC venues allowed under the law are PNC Arena, WakeMed Soccer Park, Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, Sedgefield Country Club, and Quail Hollow Country Club.

Multiple state government departments will receive revenue gathered from associated taxes and fees. Approximately $2 million will go to the NC Department of Health and Human Services to fund gambling addiction treatment, while the NC Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council will receive $1 million annually to issue grants. Another $1 million will go to NC Amateur Sports, a non-profit that sponsors amateur and youth sports initiatives.

Athletic departments of 10 state-run universities will also receive funding, each receiving $300,000 annually: Appalachian State, East Carolina, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Charlotte, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Pembroke, UNC-Wilmington, Western Carolina, and Winston-Salem State.

The remaining proceeds will be divided among the ten universities, North Carolina’s general fund, and the newly created North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund. Under the administration of the state’s Commerce Department, the fund will provide grants to entities that “foster job creation and investment” surrounding major sporting events. HB347 names NASCAR races and major men’s and women’s golf competitions “major events.”

The Commission said they received nine applications for interactive sports wagering operator licenses and expects to approve additional licenses in the near future. 

They have also issued three full licenses for sports wagering suppliers, eighteen provisional supplier licenses, and three sports wagering service provider licenses. A full list can be found on the website

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