North Carolina’s online sports betting is set to kick off just in time for March Madness, with the State Lottery Commission confirming the launch date as March 11th, 2024, at noon local time.

Following a recent commission meeting, it was announced that licensed operators can begin accepting online registrations starting March 1st, 2024. While nine applications for mobile sports wagering licenses are under review, no licenses have been issued yet. Prospective operators have until January 26th to submit their applications.

Cari Boyce, chair of the commission’s Sports Betting Committee, emphasized the progress made in establishing rules for sports betting, creating a responsible gaming framework, and guiding applicants through the process.

Although mobile sportsbooks will debut on March 11th, in-person sportsbooks will not be immediately available. Retail sports wagering licenses will be granted on a case-by-case basis in the future. Currently, in-person sports betting is accessible at three retail sportsbooks in tribal casinos.

Horse race wagering remains pending approval, with the commission drafting proposals and seeking public opinion and feedback.

Ripley Rand, commission chair, highlighted the opportunity for North Carolinians to engage in legal, secure, and fair sports betting, particularly during upcoming college basketball tournaments. The commencement of sports betting precedes the June 15th deadline set upon last year’s approval.

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