North Carolina sports betting won’t be launching on Jan 8

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The North Carolina sports betting market will not be launching on the first possible day, January 8, after the state’s sports betting committee admitted they would “need to meet every single day” to make it happen. 

Commissioners convened for their weekly meeting in which it was decided that January 8 – the first possible day of sports betting per the state’s sports wagering legislation – was an unrealistic go-live date. 

Sterl Carpenter, the NC Education Lottery’s Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting, told his fellow commissioners that there are “several steps” that operators must complete to gain a license and that patience will be required for the process to be successful. 

Carpenter stated: “Operators have to submit their internal controls to the rules that we promulgated. So they have to submit them and then they have to be approved by the Commission before they’re up and up and operating. 

“Also, there are several services or in-house operations that they have to show, they have to show that they are not accepting wagers outside the jurisdiction of North Carolina, that they are not accepting wagers on federal lands, and that they’re not accepting wagers on tribal lands inside North Carolina. 

“All of those have to be tested. Their application pro platform also has to be approved and tested. Their responsible gaming plans have to be presented to us and approved also, prior to that go-live day. I am probably missing a couple of items off the top of my head but this is just a brief show of all the items that need to take place prior to offering sports wagering in the state of North Carolina.”

Currently, the NC Education Lottery Commission’s sports betting committee is deliberating the substance and semantics of the regulations. A proposal for regulation was published last week and is subject to a public hearing that will take place on November 20. 

The draft regulations ban terms such as “risk-free” and “free” from marketing materials unless there is no material risk to the player or their actual cash.

The regulations also limit what operators can do on their marketing strategies by mandating that adverts cannot “contain images, symbols, celebrity or entertainer endorsements, music, or language that have been used in connection with media or other programming specifically targeted at underage persons”.

Finally, in the meeting, the commissioners decided to revoke all the language around fantasy sports, citing the early public backlash from the consultations that have been ongoing.

While sports betting’s first possible go-live date is January 8, 2024, the commission has until June 8 to finalize regulations and launch, per the legislation passed earlier this year.