North Carolina’s plans for mobile sports wagering have hit a roadblock, as the initial debut set for January 8 has been postponed. The state’s gambling regulatory body, the North Carolina Lottery Commission, has until June 15 of next year to officially launch sports wagering.
The Commission cited licensing issues and the need to finalize new rules as the reasons for the delay. Some members of the Commission had already indicated during a November 14 meeting that the January 8 start date was unfeasible, but no new date has been set.
Sterl Carpenter, the state’s deputy executive director of sports wagering and gaming compliance, emphasized that there are still several steps that the regulator must take before gambling can commence. Operators who intend to apply for a license must undergo an investigation, submit to internal controls, and prove that they are not accepting bets from sources outside the state’s borders or on tribal and federal lands in the state. They must also develop security and responsible gaming plans, and secure agreements with certain state leagues, teams, and facilities.
Despite the setback, the Commission is working to finalize a set of regulations and approve a list of events that may be wagered on in the state. These regulations will include advertising guidelines and a ban on sports gambling firms purchasing naming rights to sports facilities in the state.
The Commission remains committed to launching sports betting in an efficient and appropriate manner ahead of the June 15 deadline mandated by the law. While mobile sports betting was officially authorized earlier in the year, the state is still working to iron out the details before the official launch. They are also working on introducing a new website called NCGaming.gov.
The Commission will have another meeting on November 16 to discuss and potentially approve the regulations and the list of events that may be wagered on. They are also currently in the “public comment” period for the second set of proposed rules. All of these steps are aimed at ensuring that sports betting gets up and running as soon as possible and in a manner that is compliant with the law.