Seven sports gambling operators launch online registration today



(The Center Square) – Bettors can register accounts Friday for legal sports gambling in North Carolina prior to the March 11 launch with seven licensed operators, the state’s Lottery Commission says.

FanDuel, BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics Sportsbook, bet365, ESPN BET and Underdog Sports Wagering were announced as approved.

Two others applied, with the commission saying in a release that more approvals are expected “in the near future.”

Prospective players can create accounts and make deposits with these operators. After the initial launch for mobile sports wagers on phones and devices, brick and mortar locations will be allowed later.

Chairman Ripley Rand of the Lottery Commission said in a release that residents can register their accounts on Friday “with the confidence they will soon be able to make wagers on their favorite sporting events securely and responsibly.”

“We’re just 11 days away from the start of sports betting in North Carolina and we will be working every day between now and then to see that our launch is a successful one,” he said.

Industry analysts believe the nation’s ninth-largest state will net a significant haul in taxes.

A legislative fiscal analysis estimated the state’s 18% betting tax will generate $64.4 million next fiscal year, with other estimates ranging from $47 million after three years to $126 million in year one.

The state budget passed last fall includes a requirement online sports books secure a written designation agreement with one of 11 professional sports entities in North Carolina. The state is home to the NFL Carolina Panthers, NHL Carolina Hurricanes, NBA Charlotte Hornets, MLS Charlotte FC, NWSL’s North Carolina Courage, as well as multiple NASCAR tracks and golf pro tour stops.

Already announced agreements are Bet365 with the Hornets; ESPN Bet with Quail Hollow Club; Fanatics with the Hurricanes; FanDuel with the PGA of America; DraftKings with NASCAR; BetMGM with Charlotte Motor Speedway; Underdog Sports with Sedgefield Country Club; and Caesars with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Sports betting in North Carolina has been limited to casinos on tribal lands, with active retail sportsbooks at Catawba Two Kings Casino, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.

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