Sports betting in NC won't begin January 8, start date uncertain

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Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Sports betting in NC won't begin January 8, start date uncertain
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The sports betting law that was passed goes into effect on January 8, but people will not be able to make bets that day.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- People in North Carolina will have to wait longer than expected to bet on sports in the state.

The sports betting committee revealed on Tuesday that the January 8 date is just when the laws governing sports wagering goes into effect.

Legislation approved by the General Assembly this year said the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which is tasked with regulating the new mobile and in-person sports gambling, has until next June 15 to launch the betting options. But the law said gambling could begin as soon as Jan. 8 - which is the date of the College Football Playoff National Championship.

The initial hope for many was that legal sports betting would be available for the college football national championship game, the Super Bowl, March Madness and more. But it looks like that will not be the case in 2024.

"Sports betting will not be authorized until January 8. The laws related to sports betting don't become active until Jan 8. Sports betting will not be authorized until the commission can approval the rules and the potential operators submits an application and the commission approves the applications," NC Lottery Commissioner Ripley Rand said.

Commission members and staff said at its sports betting committee on Tuesday that meeting the January date was unworkable given all the activities that have yet to occur.

Sterl Carpenter, who was hired by the commission to lead its new sports betting division, described for committee members the work that's yet to be completed.

Once applications are submitted, the sports wagering companies seeking licenses to accept bets in the state will have to be investigated, with their financial controls, security and responsible gambling plans scrutinized, Carpenter said. And a provision that became law just last month requires these applicants to have a formal agreement with certain teams, leagues or sports venues in the state.

So "January 8 is the first date, but probably won't be the date when betting is authorized," Commissioner Ripley Rand asked Carpenter during the meeting.

"Absolutely correct," Carpenter responded. Commissioner Cari Boyce added that it would have taken daily meetings of the committee to start betting on Jan. 8.

No timeline was given for how long that could take.

The committee on Tuesday approved a large array of events that could be bet on through the licensed operators, as well as changes to its first batch of rules. The catalog of events and the rule changes still must be approved by the full commission.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.