First month of North Carolina sports betting generates $659M handle

North Carolina Sports Betting March
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North Carolina is getting off to a hot start as America’s newest sports betting market.

According to data provided by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission (NCLC), operators in the Tar Heel State reported a total online sports betting handle of $659.3 million in March. On March 11, North Carolina launched online wagering statewide with eight licensed sportsbooks that secured partnerships with a pro sports team or venue.

The state’s handle included the $202.6 million in promotion bets awarded by operators.

In less than three weeks, sportsbooks in North Carolina generated $66.4 million in gross wagering revenue with $590.7 million in winnings paid to bettors. The state’s Department of Revenue collected $11.9 million in tax revenue behind an 18% tax rate on gross revenue.

“It’s going to be a bigger revenue source than maybe even I imagined,” Rep. Jason Saine told WRAL News following the release of North Carolina’s online sports wagering figures.

The tax revenue generated in March will see a portion allocated toward the Department of Health and Human Services for problem gambling treatment programs and education. North Carolina Amateur Sports is also awarded at least $1 million from tax revenue annually. A group of 13 state universities will also receive a portion of tax revenue along with the North Carolina Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission.

The remaining proceeds will see 50% allocated toward the state’s General Fund and 30% deposited into the new North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund. Another 20% of the remaining proceeds will be distributed to the 13 state universities.

According to fiscal estimates, North Carolina could generate $64 million in tax revenue from sports wagering in 2024.

The NCLC has awarded wagering licenses to bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics Sportsbook, FanDuel, and Underdog. Caesars Sportsbook is also authorized to operate in the Tar Heel State through its supplier license in partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The tribe saw two of its casinos accept the first online wagers in North Carolina on March 1 under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Caesars holds exclusive rights for online wagering on tribal lands across the state. North Carolina has yet to disclose operator-specific revenue figures for sports betting.