North Carolina Governor Expected to Sign Sports Betting Law Wednesday

North Carolina eventually gets Sports Betting Back on Course


  • The North Carolina congress passed HB 347 after years of back-and-forths
  • The bill allows for up to 12 online operators and gives eight local sports facilities the ability to offer sports betting services
  • North Carolina will become the 38th state to legalize sports betting

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is signing a mobile sports betting bill that will give locals the ability to submit wagers on their phones or from the comfort of their homes.

North Carolina previously had a small sports betting market that was quite tepid compared to the other robust markets in different states. Cooper’s decision to officially welcome in a new era of online gambling is par for the course with the developments that have happened within the industry and turns the page on North Carolina’s entertainment offerings.

Cooper is expected to put pen to paper and make the deal official Wednesday.

The big day

Cooper will be in the Spectrum Center Wednesday for the signing of the new legislation. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, his signature will start the clock on the building and creation of the market. Per the terms of the bill, online sports betting could go live as early as January 8, 2024, though it may take longer than that to get everything in order. 

The North Carolina Lottery Commission has a maximum of one year to get the market to operational status.

Gov. Cooper has the opportunity to sign off on a new groundbreaking piece of legislation because of the efforts of the state congress. There were lots and back-and-forths and revisions of plans before the House and Senate ultimately settled on House Bill 347

The bill allows for the introduction of up to 12 mobile sports betting operators. Each license would cost $1 million and give companies authority in the state for five years. 

Eight professional sports locations, including the Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium and Charlotte Hornets’ Spectrum Center, would also become eligible sports betting hosts, giving them the chance to erect in-house sportsbooks and expand the game-day experience for fans.

Fans can bet on professional and amateur sports, including any of the popular University of North Carolina and Duke University teams (buckle up for March Madness betting, North Carolinians). 

Bets made online must be made by users with registered accounts, while in-person wagers can be submitted by anyone over the age of 21.

A special opportunity

There are several economic stipulations of the soon-to-be law. For example, two million dollars will be given annually to the Department of Health and Human Services to address and treat problem gambling. $300,000 will be donated annually to athletics departments at in-state schools and universities, including historically black colleges and universities such as NC A&T, North Carolina Central University, and others. 

Officials also divvied up portions of the remaining funds to other departments.

The first attempt to expand sports betting in North Carolina outside of three tribal casinos came in 2019. In 2022, sports betting was one House vote shy of going before the Governor’s desk.

Nearby states Tennessee and Virginia have more expansive sports betting markets. Virginia has been the more successful of those and, per first quarter totals, is on pace to eclipse $300 million in yearly revenue. 

Despite the sports betting success to the north and the west, North Carolina is in a unique position. It is only one of a couple of states that have two neighbors that don’t have legal sports betting markets (South Carolina and Georgia), which affords it the opportunity to become a regional power. Nearby Alabama also doesn’t have legal sports betting outfits, which increases the opportunity.

Although the NBA and NHL seasons recently wrapped up, and North Carolina does not have an MLB team, the Tar Heel state has the chance to be ready for the NFL postseason. It’s unlikely that the young Panthers are still playing in January (if the market is ready by then), but there’s still likely to be a massive outpouring of support once the books go live.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.