Catena Media steps up North Carolina plans after sports betting bill signed

action plan
Image: Shutterstock

Catena Media is advancing its preparations for online and mobile sports betting in North Carolina following the confirmation of legalization last week. 

Governor Roy Cooper put pen to paper on HB347 to officially legalize online sports betting, which could launch on Jan 8, 2024. 

The NASDAQ Stockholm-listed affiliate firm will deploy its national sports betting brands Lineups and Legal Sports Report in the Tar Heel state and will look to strike partnerships with operators to help onboard new depositing customers. 

Moreover, Catena has struck a number of media partnership deals in North Carolina in preparation for the launch of online sports betting next year. 

CEO Michael Daly said: “This positive news from North Carolina aligns with our strategic ambition to expand our North American presence. As the ninth most populous US state and the 28th to legalize online sports betting, North Carolina has the potential to become a significant market for us. 

“The bill signed by Governor Cooper encourages innovation and ensures healthy competition for sportsbooks, which are positive factors for the market that Catena Media welcomes.”

HB347 allows for 12 licensed sportsbooks, with each license costing $5m. Operators must pay 18% tax on GGR, whilst the deduction of promotional credit will not be allowed. 

Following the bill’s accession into law, the North Carolina state lottery will be charged with building the regulatory framework and licensing terms. Before operating in the state, Catena will have to obtain a license to act as a third-party marketing provider. 

Stepping up plans for North Carolina fits in line with Catena’s evolving strategy, which now focuses on its North American operations. 

The publisher conducted a strategic review of its operations last year, which concluded that North America, particularly the US, provides the best opportunity for sustainable growth. 
Catena generated 77% of all its 2022 revenue from North American markets as its focus on Europe dwindled. The strategic review also saw the publisher sell European-focused domains such as AskGamblers, which was sold to Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) for around €45m.