North Carolina Lottery Commission Chairman Ripley Rand announced on Wednesday that sports bettors in the state will not be able to legally place bets in time for the upcoming Super Bowl. The commission has requested sportsbook operators to submit applications by December 27, but no go-live date has been set for wagering to begin. This means that sports betting will not be available for the Super Bowl, and the earliest start date would be late February.
The delay in launching sports betting is due to the 60- to 90-day review process required for regulators to conduct background checks on key companies and personnel. Despite legalizing sports betting last year, the state has faced setbacks in establishing a sports betting program in a timely manner. The new law directed the commission to have sports betting available by the date of the college football national championship game on January 8, 2024, but this target will be missed.
The commission has unanimously approved application procedures for sportsbook operators interested in operating in North Carolina. The state has high expectations and strict requirements for licensees, and potential sportsbook operators will be required to compile thousands of pages of documentation to support their applications.
In addition to the application process, sportsbooks will have to reach agreements with professional sports teams and major venues in North Carolina where brick-and-mortar sportsbooks can open. These venues include four professional stadiums and other event locations.
Chairman Rand stated that regulators are moving as quickly as possible and hope to be able to announce a go-live date soon after the applications are submitted. He outlined the steps that need to be completed before a go-live date can be set, including finalizing the rulemaking process for sports betting, conducting background checks, and approving provisional licenses for suppliers.
The commission emphasized the importance of ensuring that license operators have proposed strict internal controls and that their equipment and software have been certified by an independent testing laboratory before sports betting can become available in North Carolina.