North Carolina Hires Former Massachusetts Regulator to Oversee Sports Betting Compliance 

Posted on: July 31, 2023, 05:20h. 

Last updated on: August 1, 2023, 10:30h.

Sports wagering in North Carolina will be overseen by an industry veteran who recently served as a senior regulator in Massachusetts when sports betting was legalized there.

North Carolina casino gambling Rockingham
North Carolina is tapping a former Massachusetts state regulator to oversee its new sports betting compliance efforts. (Image: Shutterstock)

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission announced Friday that it’s hired Sterl Carpenter to lead its gaming compliance and sports betting division. Carpenter has worked in the gaming industry for more than 30 years, including the last eight for the Massachusetts Gaming Commission.

“After an extensive search, we have selected an experienced professional to serve in the newly-created role of Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance & Sports Betting,” Mark Michalko, executive director of the N.C. Education Lottery, said in a news release. “Carpenter has experience in all aspects of regulations and licensing as well as compliance. We’re pleased to have someone with Carpenter’s experience and expertise leading this new gaming program in our state.”

Starting on Wednesday, Carpenter will be deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting, a newly created role. He will be responsible for overseeing the regulation of sports betting in the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina joined the ranks of legal sports betting jurisdictions in June, and the new law will allow up to 12 commercial online sportsbooks to accept wagers. Professional sports venues in the state will also be able to seek the opportunity to offer retail sports betting.

Experience Launching a Market

During his time in Massachusetts, Carpenter was a sports wagering operations manager and, previously, as regulatory compliance manager. He was at the commission when sports betting became legal in Massachusetts in 2022, and his experience helping stand up the Bay State’s betting program will likely be an asset as North Carolina gets its regulations into place.

Carpenter is not the only senior Massachusetts regulator to have sought new opportunities this year. Former Executive Director Karen Wells left the commission earlier this month and has been replaced on an interim basis by Todd Grossman, an 11-year veteran of the MGC.

North Carolina Expects Launch Next Year

The North Carolina Lottery Commission is expected to begin issuing sportsbook licenses as early as January, opening the sports betting market in time for the Super Bowl. The law allows sportsbooks to begin operating by Jan. 8, 2024, and no later than June 14.

North Carolina’s sports betting market is expected to be a boon for market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings, thanks in part to the state’s existing daily fantasy sports market, analysts have said. Caesars Entertainment also could see a boost thanks to its management of two tribal casinos in North Carolina under the Harrah’s brand.

While North Carolina doesn’t have any commercial casinos, the state’s three tribal casinos have offered in-person sportsbooks since 2021. Officials with the Catawba Tribe have said they will pursue an online sportsbook license following passage of the new law.

Sportsbook operators will be required to pay a $1 million fee for a five-year license once they are deemed suitable by state regulators, and online sportsbooks will share 18% of gross income with the state.