North Carolina Sports Betting Won’t Come in Time for Super Bowl

Posted on: November 29, 2023, 02:08h. 

Last updated on: November 30, 2023, 11:20h.

Sports bettors in North Carolina won’t be able to place legal bets in time for the Super Bowl, the state’s top lottery regulator said Wednesday.

North Carolina online sports betting
North Carolina sports betting won’t be available for the Super Bowl. State regulators asked sportsbooks to have applications in by December 27, but a go-live date has not been set. (Image: Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority)

The North Carolina Lottery Commission is asking sportsbook operators to submit applications by December 27. But officials haven’t yet determined a go-live date for wagering.

We know people are excited. One question I know I have gotten a number of times … is whether sports betting will be up and running in time for the Super Bowl,” Lottery Commission Chairman Ripley Rand said at a public meeting Wednesday. “While the commission is committed to making sports betting available in an effective manner as quickly as we can, with all the remaining work to be done, that unfortunately won’t be the case.”

The applications require a 60- to 90-day review period for regulators to conduct background checks on key companies and personnel, meaning it would be late February, at the earliest, before betting would go live.

New Deadline

North Carolina legalized sports betting last year, and the new law directed the commission to establish a sports betting program as soon as Jan. 8, 2024, the date of the college football national championship game.

Regulators previously acknowledged they would miss that target, and Rand’s latest comments further push back the start date beyond February 11. The law gives regulators until June 15 at the latest to bring sports betting online.

Rand said a go-live date would be announced after applications are submitted and proposed rules are in place.

Application Process Begins

At Wednesday’s meeting, the Lottery Commission unanimously approved application procedures for sportsbook operators interested in setting up shop in the Tar Heel State. The state is asking potential sportsbook operators to compile thousands of pages of documentation to support their applications and demonstrate compliance with state law.

Sports betting is highly regulated, and like in other states, North Carolina will have high expectations and strict requirements for licensees,” Rand said.

An application portal will be added to the state’s sports betting website,, by the end of this week or early next week, Rand said.

Before submitting their applications to the state, sportsbooks also will have to reach agreements with North Carolina’s professional sports teams and major venues. That’s where brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will be able to open.

North Carolina’s sports betting law authorizes in-venue sportsbooks at four professional stadiums – Bank of America Stadium, home of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the Spectrum Center, home of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, PNC Arena, home of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes, and WakeMed Park, home of the NWSL’s North Carolina Courage.

Temporary sportsbooks also can open during events hosted at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which hosts two NASCAR races yearly, and Sedgefield Country Club and Quail Hollow Club, home of two annual PGA Tour tournaments.

Next Steps

Reed said regulators are moving as quickly as possible, and hope to be able to announce a go-live date soon after applications are submitted.

Until then, the commission has its work cut out for it.

“We’ll set that date when we know how many applicants we have for licenses, when we complete the initial rulemaking process for sports betting, when we’ve completed background checks on the applicants and their key individuals, when we’ve approved provisional licenses for suppliers, and when we’ve made sure that licenses operators have proposed internal controls that are robust and compliant and that their key equipment and software have all be certified by an independent testing laboratory,” Rand said.