DraftKings and BetMGM’s North Carolina Sports Betting Partners Confirmed

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DraftKings and BetMGM sportsbooks have officially revealed their required sports organization partners in their applications to open in the upcoming North Carolina sports betting market.

It is now confirmed that DraftKings has seized this new opportunity through an expansion of its existing national partnership with NASCAR.

BetMGM, on the other hand, has aligned itself with the Charlotte Motor Speedway (pictured), the NASCAR racing venue located in Concord.

These developments follow the state’s sports betting framework, signed into law in 2023. It mandates online sportsbooks partner with professional sports stadiums or venues in the state.

Regulator the North Carolina Lottery Commission previously revealed BetMGM and DraftKings were among seven applicants. But neither operator made any statements about which sports org they had partnered with.

Mobile and retail sportsbooks in North Carolina are set to launch sometime before the legal deadline of June 15, exactly one year to the day after state Governor Roy Cooper signed off on legal sports betting.

New Chapters and Eras

DraftKings and BetMGM will be eager to expand their market presence early in 2024.

Boston-based DraftKings is looking to make North Carolina its 27th U.S. state for operations, following a recent approval for sports betting in Vermont, a market that is is set to launch on January 11.

Las Vegas-based BetMGM also anticipates launching in N.C., subject to regulatory and license approvals. It will be looking for a quick boost in 2024 that mirrors the start of January 2023, when it launched for sports betting in Ohio and Massachusetts. During last year, BetMGM also debuted for sports betting in Kentucky, as well as opening the first online sportsbook in Puerto Rico.

Including BetMGM and DraftKings, seven sportsbook firms have filed applications in North Carolina, with each license costing $1 million.

The others are FanDuel, ESPN Bet, bet365, Fanatics, and Underdog Sports. Each ‘book will contribute 18% of their gross proceeds as taxes to the state.

“DraftKings and NASCAR have collaborated closely with each other over the years, sharing a like-minded commitment to enhancing the fan experience,” said DraftKings’ North America President Matt Kalish.

“We look forward to the next chapter in our journey together, and offering our leading mobile sportsbook to fans in the state of North Carolina.”

Meanwhile Charlotte Motor Speedway general manager Greg Walter expressed his excitement to work with BetMGM. In a unique arrangement for U.S. sports betting, North Carolina’s sports and sportsbooks partnerships will have retail betting operations at sports venues built into the regulatory framework.

 “With Charlotte Motor Speedway’s history of innovation, we wanted to move forward into this new era of sports entertainment with a progressive sportsbook,” Walter said.

“This partnership with BetMGM will bring sports fans new ways to enjoy their favorite events, while expanding North Carolina’s tax base, supporting colleges, and facilitating recruitment of major events for the future.”

Launch Time Line

The launch of legal sports betting in North Carolina is eagerly anticipated. While an official launch date is yet to be set, it is now legally required that the market opens by June 15.

Governor Roy Cooper recently expressed his hope to have the market open in time for March Madness basketball betting. Regulators previously told reporters it will not be open in time for February’s Super Bowl, as initially hoped.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission is currently conducting background checks on the applicants and reviewing all necessary documentation to set a launch date.

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