Sports gambling launches Monday in North Carolina

Michael Perchick Image
Friday, March 8, 2024
Sports gambling launches Monday in North Carolina
North Carolina will become the 38th state to legalize sports gambling and the 30th to allow for mobile gaming.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- For Rob Brazier, Monday's launch of sports gambling represents a full-circle moment.

"Growing up here in North Carolina, the amount of texts and calls I've received from friends about sports betting coming to North Carolina and particularly our brand, it's really been fun," said Brazier, the VP of Product at Fanatics Sportsbook.

Fanatics is one of eight operators approved by the NC Education Lottery Commission, which has worked for months to create rules and regulations since HB 347 was signed into law in June. The bipartisan legislation went into effect in January, though could not become actionable until final approval from the Commission.

"It's definitely a good thing I see in North Carolina, gambling becoming legal. It'll be a good economic boost for the state," said Brendan Murphy, a sports fan.

North Carolina will become the 38th state to legalize sports gambling and the 30th to allow for mobile gaming.

"It'll be interesting to see how everything launches out in North Carolina, especially with the Carolina Hurricanes buying Backyard Bistro and turning that into a sports book," said Jack Krosner, a sports fan.

The team announced its purchase of the property earlier this year, though has not publicly discussed specific plans.

Outside of casinos on tribal lands, there are no brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in the state. Fanatics, which partnered with the Canes, is discussing specifics for an in-arena presence, as the team announced a joint launch party with the company at Backyard Bistro on Monday.

"We do have plans to offer PNC Arena activations and giving fans an opportunity to connect with our brand, understand how to get onboarded, and understand in general how to enjoy their experience with our app," Brazier said.

According to the American Gaming Association, Americans wagered nearly $120 billion last year, up about 28% from 2022. With that flood of money - has come concerns about addictive gambling.

Yale Medicine reports that gambling disorder affects 1% of Americans, with youth, including college students, face higher such rates.

Fanatics said it was not targeting universities with advertising, and highlighted in-app activity monitoring and limitations to attempt to reduce the issue.

"If (a user) deletes the limit, there's a cooldown period. So it really lessens the reactivity in things like that. Daily limits are 24 hours of cooldown. Weekly limits are seven days. So it's really intended as, 'Hey, you might have been in the heat of the moment. Take a step back. Is this something you really want to do?" Brazier said.

HB 347 also mandates that $2 million of tax proceeds from sports gambling will go to NCDHHS for gambling addiction education and treatment programs.