North Carolina opens sports betting applications, won’t be live for Super Bowl

North Carolina sign
Image: Shutterstock

The North Carolina Lottery Commission has approved the process for applications for sports betting operators, suppliers and affiliates ahead of the licensing period.

Any company that wishes to be a part of the sports betting market in the US’ ninth largest state can submit an application starting from next week and will have until Dec. 27 to do so.

However, in the sports betting committee’s meeting, it was agreed that the market will not launch in time for the Super Bowl in February, citing the vast amount of licensing and vetting work that needs to be undertaken. 

With a Dec. 27 cut-off date, the commission will then have 60 days to review the information, which will lead to Feb. 20. 

The Lottery’s Sports Betting Committee’s Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance Sterl Carpenter noted that there was very little chance of an early launch because of the amount of documentation required to dissect. Each application could have up to 1,000 pages of documentation. 

As part of the process, the commission will assess the operators, employees and directors like usual state licensing processes. North Carolina’s regulator will also have to examine the operators’ Written Designation Agreement with one of the sports teams leagues or venues in the state, which are required by law. 

The Lottery’s Chair Ripley Rand stated: “We know that the betting public is very interested in knowing the date that the first batch can be made in North Carolina. There are a number of factors in determining what that date will be – the number of applications that we received, the dates that the applications are completed, the dates that the supporting information is submitted – 1000s of pages of information that we’re going to have to review. 

“We’re going to have to complete our rulemaking so that the applicants know what the rules are going to be once the licenses are approved, we’re going to need to complete background checks on all the applicants to make sure that they comply with North Carolina law and with all of our rules, and the operators will have to submit their internal controls.”

The regulator has finalized the first batch of regulations for the market but the second wave of regs are currently subject to public hearing scrutiny. Part of that process has seen the removal of fantasy sports language from the rules. 

Sports betting could have launched on Jan. 8 in North Carolina but earlier in the month the commission admitted it was not ready to meet that date. Per the sports betting law, the market must be established by Jun. 15. 

The Chair of the North Carolina Lottery Commission’s Sports Betting Committee Carrie Boyce explained that the market will launch comfortably before that deadline date. 

Boyce said: “It’s simply too soon to tell. That said, we want to get a fair and responsible program up and running as soon as possible. And well before the June 15 deadline. We also want to make sure we get as much right up front as possible and learn lessons from other states that have gone through this experience. 

“Once the law was passed in June, we got to work immediately. We’re starting from scratch and in just under six months, we’ve brought on an experienced professional to lead our gaming organization with experience in multiple states.”