RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Carolina Hurricanes announced a multi-year partnership with Fanatics on Thursday.
They are the place to purchase team gear but they will soon help the Canes open a sports betting operation with PNC Arena.
"We just felt that we have a great relationship with them," said Don Waddell, general manager of the Hurricanes. "We interviewed all the big boys including Fan Duel and DraftKings."
Sports betting on an app like Draft Kings or Fan Duel will be the first to roll out in the state versus in person at the PNC.
"There is this thing called March Madness that people get pretty excited about so that's what we're aiming for," Waddell said. "That is our goal."
Waddell said they are working on rules and regulations with the NC Lottery Commission and even Governor Cooper himself is working to get it fast-tracked by March.
The Canes last week also announced that they purchased Backyard Bistro where they may open a brick and mortar sports betting operation.
Much of the property around the arena is owned by the state or Cardinal Gibbons High School so this will help the team turn the area into an entertainment district it eventually wants to build.
"Gambling is not for everybody," Waddell noted Thursday at the intermission of the Canes versus Anaheim Ducks game. "But if you didn't think it was going on in North Carolina, you're living under a rock."
DraftKings said they couldn't share much more beyond their agreement with NASCAR.
BETMGM said it "could not be more excited for the onset of legalized, safe, and regulated sports betting in the Tar Heel State."
Waddell said they want to get it up and running as quickly and as safely as possible. Estimates are that $25 million in tax revenue was lost to Virginia for folks who went to places like the casino in Danville to gamble.
"I never even thought about it," said Russell Copersito, who was with his dad tailgating for the game. "I just come out to enjoy the game."
They are season ticket holders. Others like Blanca Sanchez would love to place their bets soon.
"It's just fun," she said. "It just kind of makes it competitive."
Fanatics said this deal gives them the option to put the sportsbook into PNC but no deal is final just yet.
The sportsbook will look similar to what Fanatics has installed into Nationwide Arena where the Columbus Blue Jackets play.