North Carolina online sports betting regulators added a Sports Betting Committee Charter on Sept. 27. Those guidelines for a three-person North Carolina State Lottery Commission (NCSLC) Sports Betting Committee (SBC) represent a step toward readying for the 2024 launch of online sports and esports wagering.
Regulators progressing today on overseeing sports betting law is a move forward because, as recently as Friday, state lawmakers were stepping backward and adjusting North Carolina’s online esports and sports betting law.
Legislators voted in favor of North Carolina’s $30 billion budget measure, HB259, which included “sports wagering technical corrections” that gave more power to sports organizations. Gov. Roy Cooper said on Friday that he would permit “this budget to become law without my signature.”
So now, the marketplace launch may happen as soon as Jan. 8.
However, HB347 says North Carolina’s online sportsbooks can go live as late as mid-June.
Meanwhile, the regulator – the NCSLC – is setting the framework and oversight of the marketplace.
Today, commissioners unanimously approved a charter for a proposed SBC.
Bonus obtained a copy of the charter, which said:
The purpose of the Sports Betting Committee (the “Committee”) is to assist the North Carolina State Lottery Commission (the “Commission”) by providing initial Commission oversight, direction, and review with respect to the adoption, implementation, revision, and revocation of rules and policy matters related to sports betting and pari-mutuel horse race wagering.
NC Online Sports Betting Regulators Step Up
Today, the commission set rules for the appointed committee.
The charter said the SBC will work with NCSLC staffers to do the following:
- “Ensure rulemaking is administered in accordance with the agency’s Rulemaking Policy and Procedure.”
- Administer and regulate esports and sports betting with “integrity.”
- Impose fines on online gambling operators, service providers, and “the regulated public.”
- Review sports wagering vendor contracts.
The SBC is also directed to liaise with Mark Michalko, the executive director of the North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL), and Sterl Carpenter, NCSLC’s deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting.
The charter said by liaising, the committee will do the below:
Keep informed of changes in the sports betting industry and assist in generating ideas to promote rules and policies that further integrity and confidence in the Commission’s exercise of its statutory duties.
One Fewer Sportsbook May Be Permitted
The esports and sports betting bill Cooper signed into law on June 14 permitted 12 “interactive sports wagering operators to offer and accept sports wagers on sporting events.”
However, that changed for North Carolina’s 11 million residents on Friday.
Beginning on Page 355 of the 625-page-long budget bill, legislators add language that removes one of the possible licenses. That brought the total down to 11.
However, the budget bill instructs online sportsbook operators to partner with one of the following entities:
- A professional sports team.
- The owner or operator of “a motorsports facility” or “a facility that hosts a professional golf tournament annually.”
- A sports governing body that hosts a “National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing national touring race in the State” or such a body that offers “more than one professional golf tournament.”
Each applicant will be required to obtain a written agreement from a sports venue, sports team or sports governing body. The number of teams, venues and governing bodies operating in the state is 11. Each of those entities can only offer one written agreement.
NCSharp and Bonus are Catena Media publications.
Granted, lawmakers removed legal gambling expansion plans from the budget bill on Sept. 19 that might’ve brought the number of possible sportsbook partners to 15. That’s because those plans included adding commercial casinos in North Carolina, which now has three tribal gaming facilities. Lawmakers had been hoping the bill would authorize four commercial casino licenses.
However, that also would’ve required lawmakers to step back and change the law again.