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Sports betting registration opens Friday

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(The Center Square) – Public registration with licensed interactive sports wagering operators can begin Friday at noon in North Carolina ahead of the March 11 launch of legal wagering.

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

The launch date comes the week of a Tobacco Road staple – the ACC Tournament in collegiate basketball. Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament, commonly known as March Madness, follows on March 17.

Industry analysts believe the nation’s ninth-largest state will net a significant haul in taxes. Writing for the Legal Sports Report, data analyst Eric Ramsey projects $7 billion in bets between March 11 and March 10, 2025. Tyler Andrews, at NCSharp, projects $126 million in tax revenue during that timeframe.

Sterl Carpenter, the North Carolina Lottery Commission deputy executive director of sports betting, at last week’s meeting of the full board said Bet365, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Underdog Sports, and Caesars are on track to go live at launch.

With an 18% betting tax, the fiscal analysis provided to lawmakers estimated a $64.4 million windfall.

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 to 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 are Bet365 with the Hornets, ESPN Bet with Quail Hollow Club, FanDuel with the PGA of America, and Fanatics with the Hurricanes.

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.

Lawmakers and Gov. Roy Cooper approved sports betting in June, giving a launch date window between Jan. 8 and June 14 of this year.

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