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North Carolina Online Sports Betting Generates Nearly $200 Million In Wagers Within First Week Of Legalized Operations

LawNorth Carolina Online Sports Betting Generates Nearly $200 Million In Wagers Within First Week Of Legalized Operations


Two weeks after the official launch of legal online sports betting in North Carolina, the agency responsible for licensing and regulating sports betting and wagers in the state, revealed preliminary financial results, reporting a “strong start” to operations. The North Carolina State Lottery Commission’s take on the recently launched industry and NC’s rapidly growing online sports wagering figures is likely to be driven by the peak of the college basketball season, as reported by the Associated Press (AP).

Strong Online Sports Betting Start from 11 March:

Legal online sports betting kicked off in the “Tar Heel State” on March 11, 2024, to provide an almost immediate opportunity to place bets via eight interactive sports wagering operators on the men’s Atlantic Coast Conference basketball tournament that started on March 12. As reported by the AP and published by Fox News, betting activity was additionally boosted only a week later, when the brackets for the men’s and women’s NCAA tournaments were released to mark the start of the nationwide basketball thrill among fans and bettors called the March Madness.

$200Million Handled in the First Week:

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission, an exclusive state gambling authority appointed in June 2023 to govern licensing and compliance of operators and suppliers in the industry informed that the first day of legal wagering already saw more than $23.9 million in bets to reportedly pay $12.2 million in winnings in the first 12 hours. According to the source, the strong wagering activity continued over the first week to generate an almost $200 million handle in the first seven days.

Benefits for Bettors, Operators, and State:

Such a weekly handle was reportedly beneficial for both bettors and operators. According to the news agency, bettors were paid $141.6 million, and sports wagering operators generated almost $42.7 million in gross gaming revenues. As the reported 18% tax rate will be applied to gross operator revenues, it is estimated that the state generated around $7.7 million in tax revenues in the first week of legalized sports betting in North Carolina.

The strong start seems beneficial for all the parties involved. However, Sterl Carpenter, a commission executive overseeing sports gambling, said that it was too early to make comparisons with other states, but that North Carolina’s launch was similar to the one seen in Massachusetts in 2023. As reported by the source, Carpenter nevertheless cited some public comments from the industry to say that “by all accounts, mobile sports wagering in North Carolina is off to a strong start.”

Key Online Wagering Market Drivers:

Carpenter also reportedly said that the early level of winnings must have been due to the strong recent performance of North Carolina basketball teams, with North Carolina State University’s men’s team winning the first title game since 1987 on March 16 to additionally stimulate wagering activity in the state. The early results may seem primarily driven by the NC basketball team’s performance and the March Madness tournament but also by the bettor’s expectations to include the state in the pool of 37 US states with legalized online sports wagering operations.

According to the AP report, such a legal facility was introduced in 2023 sports gambling legislation and signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper. The legislation reportedly also authorizes future in-person wagering on horse racing, against the previous legislation that allowed sports gambling only at three tribal land-based casinos in North Carolina. The impressive start of online sports wagering in the state seems encouraging to pursue its legalized gambling prospects.



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