North Carolina is a step closer to introducing legal sports betting after the state’s lottery commission gave operators a Jan. 26 deadline to submit their internal controls.

Operators applying for a sports betting license in North Carolina must submit proposed controls by this date. The North Carolina State Lottery said this helps ensure the applicant is ready to go on opening day of the market.

The deadline was set during a commission meeting yesterday (January 10). During the same meeting, the Commission approved processes and documents to guide applicants in submitting internal controls for approval.

Each licensed operator must obtain approval from internal controls before offering betting in North Carolina.

There remains uncertainty about the opening date

North Carolina has yet to set a start date for legal sports betting, but it is expected to be in March 2024. Commission Chairman Ripley Rand previously said this will depend largely on how long the license application process takes.

The Commission must consider all applications and supporting information. Additionally, background checks must be conducted and internal control details analyzed before a start date can be set.

The Commission is currently examining applications from nine potential operators. The application process began in early December after the state’s governor, Roy Cooper, signed House Bill 347 in June.

Final decision on sports betting rules

Uncertainty also remains regarding sports betting rules in North Carolina. The commission has yet to finalize these rules, although some measures were set out in the bill signed last year.

This includes allowing betting on college sports, e-sports and other sports competitions approved by the commission. The tax is set at 18% of each license holder’s gross gaming revenue.

There is also a provision that requires operators to have a written naming agreement with a sports team, league or venue in order to launch sports betting.

Among those applying for a license is BetMGM, which has a market access agreement with Charlotte Motor Speedway. Located in Concord, North Carolina, the complex is a regular venue for the Nascar stock car racing series.

In announcing the deal, BetMGM said it hoped to have the North Carolina market open before the end of the first quarter.

DraftKings is also preparing to launch in the state and will partner with Nascar. The deal makes DraftKings Nascar’s exclusive daily fantasy sports partner in the U.S. and Canada.

Fanatics announced their partnership with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes on January 11, 2024

DraftKings will also be an authorized gaming provider for Nascar and will benefit from additional sponsorship benefits across the series.

Fanatics Betting and Gaming has also begun entering the market, entering into a long-term partnership agreement with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. This makes Fanatics the team’s official sports betting partner.

The partnership gives Fanatics Sportsbook access to the North Carolina mobile sports betting market as well as the ability to offer a retail sportsbook at PNC Arena.

Commission approves testing laboratories

In addition, the Commission has approved two independent testing laboratories to work with companies in North Carolina.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) and BMM Testlabs can evaluate gaming devices, software and processes for compliance with state laws and commission rules

The Commission continues to accept submissions from other entities wishing to act as an independent testing laboratory.