Online sports betting officially launches statewide in North Carolina

North Carolina Sports Betting
Image: University of College / Shutterstock

North Carolina is officially America’s newest sports betting market.

The Tar Heel State went live with wagering on Monday, giving the U.S. a total of 39 states with legalized sports betting. North Carolina, which began accepting wagers statewide on March 11 at noon, is home to eight online sportsbooks. Last month, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics Sportsbook, FanDuel and Underdog for wagering licenses. A state ruling requires operators that have received licenses to partner with a pro sports team or venue.

DraftKings has partnered with NASCAR for operations in North Carolina, marking the operator’s 27th state for regulated sports betting. The company celebrated its debut in the Tar Heel State with a ceremonial first bet with Carolina Panthers legend Greg Olsen.

Barstool Sportsbook rebrand ESPN Bet has partnered with Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina, while BetMGM will work with Charlotte Motor Speedway. British operator bet365 has partnered with the Charlotte Hornets for its offerings in the state.

Fanatics Sportsbook landed a long-term deal with the Carolina Hurricanes for market access and has also been tapped as the franchise’s official sports betting partner.

The PGA Tour inked a deal with FanDuel for the operator’s operations in the state. FanDuel, which is America’s largest sports betting operator in terms of market share, was named the official sports betting of the Panthers. The partnership includes events, digital marketing, and signage across Bank of America Stadium.  

Underdog is making its first foray into sports betting with its debut in North Carolina. The company, known for its fantasy operations, has partnered with golf course owner McConnell Golf and is making its debut in North Carolina with innovation in mind.

“We’ve spent the last three years building the backend technology,” Underdog Co-CEO Jeremy Levine told SBC Americas. “When this product launches on Monday, I am pretty sure will be the first sportsbook to launch in America on entirely its own core tech stack.”

North Carolina tribe gets a head start

Caesars Sportsbook became the first operator to accept wagers in North Carolina on March 1 under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Caesars obtained a supplier license in the state behind its partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The federally recognized tribe saw two of its casinos accept the first online wagers in North Carolina history as Caesars holds exclusive rights for online sports betting on tribal lands.

Sportradar has also solidified a presence in North Carolina after being awarded a five-year supplier license last week. The data aggregator holds 56 licenses across North America.

North Carolinians will have plenty to wager on amid the state’s launch of sports betting with the start of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament on March 12. The tournament features some of North Carolina’s largest college fanbases: UNC, Duke, and NC State.

WalletHub predicted over $10 billion worth of wagering on last year’s 68-team NCAA Tournament.