Look out, world, here comes the Tar Heel State.
For the past week, North Carolina has been making preparations to launch real money sports betting next year. An exact launch date hasn’t been set, but it will occur sometime after January 8 and is required by state statute to commence no later than June 14.
[GLI] will support the Commission in several key areas of operations, including rule-making, licensing procedures, development of an audit program, and risk control. But in the meantime, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission (NCLC) — which will serve as the regulator for all commercial sports betting in the state — is making moves. The agency hired Gaming Laboratories Incorporated (GLI) on August 31 to help launch sports betting in North Carolina.
New Jersey-based GLI, a consulting firm that specializes in testing and certifications for the gaming industry, “will support the Commission in several key areas of operations, including rule-making, licensing procedures, development of an audit program, and risk control,” the NCLC said.
GLI helped Massachusetts launched sports betting in March and has also been working with Vermont and Kentucky, which will launch sports betting this week.
The NCLC is authorized to issue up to 12 mobile sports betting licenses.
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NC Looking to Fill Gaming Posts
The hiring of GLI was just the latest step.
The NCLC posted a request for proposal (RFP) for an enterprise regulatory system on August 30. Such a system would “allow potential licensees to apply for a license online and manage licensing and regulatory requirements and structures throughout the life of a license.” Responses were due on Wednesday, September 6.
The NCLC is moving forward with the substantial efforts required to responsibly license and regulate sports betting, and parimutuel wagering on horse racing, and horse racing itself. That same day, the agency announced that it was looking to hire a new Director of Licensing to “develop, implement, and manage a licensed framework for sports betting.” The NCLC then said potential service providers and suppliers could register online to receive email updates or other information about the upcoming launch of sports betting.
The agency announced Tuesday that it had added the second of two new associate attorneys to its ranks, one of whom will be tasked with helping to develop “the new rules and regulations required to begin licensing of sports betting operators, providers, and suppliers and for the licensing of operators for parimutuel wagering on horse racing.”
“The NCLC is moving forward with the substantial efforts required to responsibly license and regulate sports betting, and parimutuel wagering on horse racing, and horse racing itself,” the agency said. “The commission’s goal is to make sure sports gaming gets up and running in an effective and appropriate fashion as soon as possible.”
Although no partnerships have been announced to date, it’s very likely that the major sportsbook brands — BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook — will be interested in the state. North Carolina ranks ninth-largest in terms of population, with 10.7 million residents.
“No applications for licenses for sports betting or for advanced deposit wagering associated with horse racing are available at this time, but these materials will be available in the future,” NCLC said on its website.
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Where Will The Money Go?
Under North Carolina’s new gaming law, mobile sports betting will be taxed at 18%. A tax rate of 1% will be levied on total parimutuel wagers placed on horse racing.
The North Carolina General Assembly earmarked revenue from sports betting for several purposes. These are:
- $1 million annually to North Carolina Amateur Sports to expand opportunities in youth sports
- Up to $300,000 annually to collegiate athletic departments at 13 state universities
- $1 million annually to the N.C. Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council — grants of up to $5,000 will be made available to help cover the cost of in-state or out-of-state travel for teams at the county level, with additional grants of up to $25,000 to attract sporting events, tournaments, and programs at every level — amateur to pro
- Certain reimbursements to the NCLC and the state’s Department of Revenue to cover expenses from the new law
Twenty percent of the remaining proceeds will be distributed evenly among the athletic departments of the 13 state universities that will benefit from sports betting. Another 30% will go to the North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund, which the state uses to promote job creation and investment in the state.
The last 50% of the remaining proceeds will go to the state’s General Fund. Proceeds from parimutuel horse racing will also go to the General Fund after certain administrative costs.