FanDuel Secures PGA Tour Deal for North Carolina Sports Betting

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FanDuel, the Flutter Entertainment-owned leading U.S. sportsbook, has secured the opportunity to apply for a North Carolina sports betting license via a partnership with the PGA Tour.

The move positions FanDuel to enter the online sports betting market in the state, which is expected to open in early to mid-2024.

In a unique arrangement for a U.S. sports betting market, operators looking to launch online or retail sportsbooks in North Carolina will have to partner with local sports organizations.

Unlike other recent sports betting deals in North Carolina, this agreement between FanDuel and the PGA is a commercial Written Designated Agreement (WDA), solely focused on allowing FanDuel to apply for market access​​.

“We have a great relationship with the Tour, and we have every intention of continuing that,” said Christian Genetski, president of FanDuel.

“Building off of an existing partner made it a pretty easy conversation to get to the parameters of a deal that we were very comfortable with.”

Now Taking Applications

State regulator the North Carolina Lottery commission is currently accepting applications for sports betting licenses.

In recent weeks, Bet365 and ESPN Bet have already secured sports betting partners in The Old North State. British operator Bet365 paired with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and ESPN Bet chose Quail Hollow Golf Club.

Applications will be open until December 27, with operators required to secure a WDA with a sports team or league as a prerequisite for license eligibility.

As per the bill signed into law by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper earlier in 2023, 12 sports betting licenses were to be issued. However, that eventually dropped down to 11 after discussions with regulators.

Now that three slots have been taken, there are eight remaining. Sports organizations left for interested operators to partner with include Charlotte Motor Speedway, NASCAR, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, and soccer’s Charlotte FC.

Potentially because of the conflict between the PGA’s events at Quail Hollow Golf Club and that course’s new partnership with ESPN Bet, the FanDuel and PGA partnership in North Carolina is limited to market access only.

However, FanDuel and the PGA are long term sponsorship partners nationally, including 2023’s debut of an expanded golf betting offering in partnership with the Tour.

“We are very familiar with FanDuel. We are probably the president of their fan club,” said Scott Warfield, VP/gaming for the PGA Tour.

“And we intend to be in business with them as long as we’re in sports betting. That made something that’s long term like this make a ton of sense.”

Expected Launch Spring 2024

Initially, lawmakers hoped that the market could launch at the earliest suggested date of January 8.

However, the North Carolina Lottery Commission’s sports betting committee recently ruled out this possibility because of the extensive amount of work required to process applications and establish regulatory frameworks​​.

The legal deadline for a launch is June 14, 2024, exactly one year after Governor Cooper signed legal sports betting into law.

Regulators cannot confirm a specific date as of yet.

“There are a number of factors in determining what that date will be – the number of applications that we received, the dates that the applications are completed, the dates that the supporting information is submitted – 1000s of pages of information that we’re going to have to review,” said Lottery Chair Ripley Rand at a recent meeting.

“We’re going to have to complete our rulemaking so that the applicants know what the rules are going to be once the licenses are approved, we’re going to need to complete background checks on all the applicants to make sure that they comply with North Carolina law and with all of our rules, and the operators will have to submit their internal controls.”

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