Caesars Opens North Carolina Online Sports Betting

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Eight North Carolina online sports betting operators are getting ready to launch on March 11. But one sportsbook has been able to jump the gun and make a limited launch 10 days ahead of the rest.

Caesars Sportsbook opened for the historic first legal online sports wager in North Carolina on Friday, March 1.

It was able to do so ahead of the other national sportsbooks that opened for pre-registrations this week. They will have to wait until the official launch date.

Caesars Entertainment got in early because it has partnered with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for an online sportsbook license. It currently offers sports betting at its retail ‘books in the tribe’s two North Carolina casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino.

Caesars can now offer online betting via its sportsbook app as long as players are located within tribal lands.

“We’re thankful to be able to offer wagering at the Harrah’s Cherokee properties as part of our longstanding relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and with the sports calendar heating up, there is a lot to be excited about,” said President of Caesars Digital Eric Hession in a press release.

Historic Bet

Caesars took its first bet this morning. According to a company executive, the first North Carolina online sports bet of the regulated market was a college basketball wager.

The anonymous first customer wagered $50 on the South Alabama Jaguars to cover a 7.5 spread versus the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks.

Caesars had already been taking bets at its North Carolina retail sportsbooks since 2021 via the same tribal agreement with the Cherokee.

“The Caesars Sportsbook app is the perfect complement to our in-person retail sportsbooks in North Carolina that so many sports fans have enjoyed for years.”

Full Launch Incoming

On March 11, seven other sportsbooks will open for wagering in the state. Caesars will also open for betting outside of tribal lands.

Those operators joining the market are DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, Bet365, and Underdog Sports.

Each operator, except Caesars, has been required to partner with a local sports organization or venue.

The launch of the full sports betting market coincides with the March Madness basketball betting hype around the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

The market is expected to generate some $70 million in taxes annually for the state at an 18% tax on revenues. The money will be allocated to support education and youth sports programs.

Each licensee also paid $1 million the privilege up-front.

All eight ‘books are now open for statewide preregistration and deposits. But no bets can be placed anywhere but on tribal lands until March 11. Players must also be age 21 or over to take part.

“Over the years, the partnership between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars Entertainment has only flourished and strengthened,” said Michell Hicks, principal chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“We eagerly anticipate the chance to introduce mobile sports betting to North Carolina, offering a fresh and new experience to all sports fans.”

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