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Ahead of football, North Carolina’s big bet on pace for $161M

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(The Center Square) – Legalizing sports gambling was a big bet for North Carolina, and its $7.2 million gain to state coffers from legalized sports gambling in June is a 36.1% decline from May and a 61.7% drop from April.

Yet, the 365-pace is $161,393,605. And there’s been no football – yet.

Financials from the most recent month were released Monday by the North Carolina State Lottery Commission. The internet-only industry launched for the final 21 days of March and brought in $49,523,517 for the fiscal year ending June 30.

The gross wagering revenue – amounts received by interactive sports wagering operators from sports wagers as authorized under state law, less the amounts paid as winnings before any deductions for expenses, fees or taxes – in June was $40,302,263. The sum multiplied by 18% – $7,254,407 – gives the state its take to dispense.

June is not a high-volume month for sports betting. College strengths of football and basketball are in the offseason, as is the pro sports heavyweight of the NFL. The NBA and NHL seasons ended in June with championship series, neither of which involved the Hornets or Hurricanes, respectively.

Even still, the 112-day pace per day is a whopping $442,174 without any football by the colleges or NFL. That’s $161,393,605 over 365 days, and sportsbooks nationwide in states already launched have increased betting volume in their states when the gridiron is active.

First-year projections earlier this year were a $6.4 billion handle in the first year by BetCarolina, and $7 billion by the Legal Sports Report. Handle refers to the amount of money waged by bettors.

With more than $398 million gambled last month, bettors won $354,742,263.

Promotional wagering revenue has steadily declined from more than $202 million the first month, to $16.4 million in June.

Five things, per Session Law 2023-42, can happen with the proceeds. There’s $2 million annually to the Department of Health and Human Services for gambling addiction education and treatment programs; and there’s $1 million annually to the North Carolina Amateur Sports to expand youth sports opportunities.

Also annually, a third element is $300,000 to each of 13 state public school collegiate athletic departments. Fourth is $1 million annually to the N.C. Youth Outdoor Engagement Commission, which awards grants.

Finally, there are certain reimbursements to the state Lottery Commission and Department of Revenue for expenses incurred to implement and administer the new law. After that, it’s 20% to the 13 public collegiate athletic departments; 30% to a new fund to attract major events, games and investments; and 50% to the state’s General Fund.

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