Monday, April 15, 2024

North Carolina sports betting to begin on March 11

Sports betting will begin on March 11; proceeds from business licenses and taxes will benefit UNC System athletic departments, including UNCW’s. (Courtesy UNCW)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The State Lottery Commission voted Wednesday morning to authorize gambling on sporting events starting March 11.

READ MORE: Sports betting in NC one step closer to reality, UNCW could benefit from its legalization

The start date is right in time for the beginning of the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament.

In preparation for the launch of in-person and online sports wagering, licensed operators may begin enrolling gamblers and accepting deposits into user accounts as early as March 1. The state has received applications from nine gambling companies seeking to operate sports betting in North Carolina. The legislation caps the licensed businesses at 12.

Last June, the North Carolina General Assembly approved a bill legalizing sports gambling in North Carolina; it was signed into law on June 14, 2023. Sports wagering in North Carolina has been permitted only on reservations since 2019 when Cooper signed Senate Bill 154 into law. 

The bill’s passage could benefit 13 statewide universities, including UNCW, which stand to gain millions of dollars from the legislation. 

The legislation raises the tax rate to 18% from 14% on sports-betting businesses, allowing in-person cash betting at certain sports venues across the state and eliminating deductions for promotional credits.

Funds from the license fees and taxes would be allocated to universities, school grant programs and gambling education resources. Institutions in the UNC System will each receive a baseline of $300,000 yearly for their athletic departments, plus 20% of remaining revenue.

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