help_outline

Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to the most common questions about sports betting and horse race wagering in North Carolina.


Sports Betting and Horse Racing Wagering FAQs

North Carolina’s new Sports Wagering/Horse Racing law, created by the passage of House Bill 347, authorizes sports betting and wagering on horse racing to be conducted by licensed proprietors or services providers. Sports betting or horse racing wagers offered by unlicensed entities is illegal. The law gives the NC State Lottery Commission up to 12 months from the enactment of the new law, June 14, 2023, to begin issuing licenses.

The new law directs the Commission to implement, administer, and enforce aspects of the State’s new statutes concerning wagering on sports and horse racing. Among other things this includes regulating wagering, reviewing licensing applications, supporting responsible gaming, and monitoring and enforcing the law. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Commission must (among other things) set up administrative operations and procedures; hire staff; retain appropriate legal and gaming advisers; draft and adopt rules and regulations to determine the selection of licensees; and then regulate the operations of licensees to maintain financial stability, minimize potential negative consequences, and protect the integrity of the gaming system.

The Commission is currently in the process of drafting rules to regulate sports betting and horse race wagering. Check back for updates.

Currently, sports betting is only allowed at the casinos located on tribal lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation. Otherwise, you cannot place a legal sports bet or wager on a horse race in North Carolina until such time as sports betting and advanced deposit wagering licenses have been granted and the operators with those licenses are authorized by the Commission to begin accepting wagers. In the future, the Commission will identify a first day for authorized, lawful betting.

The law gives the Commission up to twelve months from the date the law became effective – June 14, 2023 − to authorize sports wagering. In the future, the Commission will identify a first day for authorized, lawful betting.

The new law authorizes waging on professional sports, college sports, electronic sports, amateur sports, or any other event approved by the Commission and well as horse racing, both live and simulcast races.

Once it is authorized, sports wagering will be permitted at a limited number of in-person, regulated locations and via mobile platforms authorized and regulated by the Commission.

Yes. All of the following persons are prohibited from engaging in sports betting or wagering on horse racing.
  • Any person under the age of 21.
  • Any person who has requested and not revoked a voluntary exclusion designation from sports wagering.
  • Any person who has been adjudicated by law as prohibited from engaging in sports wagering.
  • Any member or employee of the Commission when placing a sports wager in this State.
  • Any employee or key person of an interactive sports wagering operator or service provider license when placing sports wagers with that interactive sports wagering operator.
  • With respect to a sporting event, any participant in that sporting event, including an athlete, coach, trainer, official, or any employee or staff of a participant, when placing a sports wager on that sporting event in which that participant is participating.
  • Any employee or staff of a sports governing body, when placing a sports wager on sporting events with which that individual or sports governing body is affiliated.

No. The North Carolina Education Lottery – which offers instant scratch-off tickets and draw games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Carolina Cash 5, and Fast Play through retailers and its Online Play platform – will not offer or accept wagers on sports or horse racing. Sports and horse race wagering will be regulated separately from the North Carolina Education Lottery’s core business, the Lottery, and will only be permitted through operators licensed by the Commission.

Yes. Members of the nine-member Commission hold appointive positions; serve five-year terms; and receive no salaries. They receive $15 a day when they attend meetings plus per diem. The responsibilities for licensing and regulating sports betting operators and advanced deposit waging operators is a new responsibility for the Commission and it plans hire a professional staff to perform those functions and then to oversee the staff’s work. The Commission also will continue overseeing the operations of the state lottery which are performed by a professional staff led by an executive director that it appoints. The Commission conducts lottery business during committee and Commission meetings that are generally held each quarter. You can see a list of Commission members here.

Licensing FAQs

NC law requires three types of businesses engaged in sports wagering to obtain a license from the Commission:
  • Interactive Sports Wagering Operators – businesses that offer and accept sports wagers on sporting events.
  • Service Providers – businesses that provide covered services to an Operator that create sports wagering markets and determine sports wager outcomes that involve the operation, management, or control of sports wagers. Covered services is further defined by G.S. 18C-901(4).
  • Suppliers – businesses that provide services, goods, software, or other components necessary for the creation of sports wagering markets and determinations of sports wager outcomes to Operators or Service Providers.

The application fee for an Operator license is $1,000,000, a Service Provider License is $50,000, and a Supplier license is $30,000. Payment of the application fee will be facilitated by Commission staff after an application has been submitted. In the event that an Applicant is denied a license, the application fee, minus 5%, will be refunded Additionally, Applicants and their Key Persons are responsible for the cost of their background record check. The background record check fee is collected by the Commission’s vendor.

Visit ncgaming.gov/licensing to fill out a request form for an Operator, Service Provider, or Supplier application form. Only use one business email address for the entity to complete this request form and please only submit one request form. Attempts to use multiple email addresses or submit multiple requests will cause an error and delay the application process. After the request form is submitted, the Commission will respond via email with the required application forms and instructions.

Specific instructions on submitting the application forms and attachments to the Commission’s secure ShareBase portal are included in the Commission’s email response to a request for an application.

It is the Applicant’s responsibility to maintain and protect the unique link and password to the Commission’s ShareBase portal. In the event that it is lost or forgotten, please contact Licensing@ncgaming.gov as soon as possible.

The Commission requests that all sports wagering licensure Applicants that wish to participate in the earliest “go live” date for sports betting submit their completed application forms and attachments by December 27, 2023. Submission by this date will allow the Commission time to conduct background investigation process and make licensing determinations prior to the Commission authorizing sports wagering to commence in NC on a “go live” date. While applicable to all sports wagering license Applicants, the requested December 27, 2023, application submission date is most important for our prospective Operators. Be advised that the Commission will continue to accept applications after December 27, 2023; however, any application received after December 27, 2023, may not make it through the Commission’s investigation and licensing process prior to the authorization of sports wagering in NC. The Commission will set the “go live” date in the future.

The Commission will issue a provisional license to any Supplier applicant who submits an administratively sufficient application and the required written attestations provided with the application form. The Commission will continue its background investigation and due diligence and issue a final licensing determination within 180 days of issuing the provisional supplier license. The Operator and Service Providers are not eligible for provisional licenses under the law.

Possibly. The NC Sports Wagering Law authorizes the Commission to take into consideration an applicant’s licensure in good standing in other jurisdictions that have substantially equivalent licensing requirements to NC. To be eligible for this consideration, the Applicant must submit letters or certificates of good standing from each jurisdiction where they hold a license with their application form. Commission staff will review comparable licensure on a case-by-case basis. In any event, an Applicant that receives their license early will be required to wait for the Commission to authorize sports wagering in NC.

The business entity applying for a license must request a background record check through the Commission’s vendor. Additionally, all of the entity’s Key Persons, as defined in the application form, must request a background record check. It is important to start this process early. You may request a background record check as soon as you request an application form from the Commission.

Yes, an Applicant or Key Person with a criminal background check, conducted within the 12 months prior to submitting the application, may submit the completed report in lieu of requesting a background record check through the Commission Vendor. The completed report must be submitted in the application materials along with this signed Affidavit of Criminal History Record Check. The Commission reserves the right to require an Applicant or Key Person to submit to a background record check with our vendor if the prior background record check is insufficient in any way.

The Commission has established a secure ShareBase portal for each Applicant to submit their application materials. Once an Applicant uploads their application documents, they will be ingested automatically into the Commission’s secure system, and deleted from the Sharebase portal. Generally, application materials are not public record. However, NC law requires the Commission to make the following documents public record:
  • The name, address, and sports wagering platform,
  • The names of all Key Persons,
  • The documented history of working to prevent compulsive gambling, including training programs for employees,
  • The proposed sports wagering brand that the Applicant plans to hold out to the public displaying its sports wagering platform,
  • The granting or denial of the application, and
  • Any documents or materials that form the basis for disciplinary or enforcement action.

No, the completed application form, necessary attachments, and all key person disclosures must all be uploaded to the Commission’s ShareBase portal at one time. Your application will be found administratively deficient and possibly denied if any portion is missing or incomplete and you fail to timely cure the deficiency.

No, the completed application form, necessary attachments, and all key person disclosures must all be uploaded to the Commission’s ShareBase portal at one time. Your application will be found administratively deficient and possibly denied if any portion is missing or incomplete and you fail to timely cure the deficiency.

Instructions on how to complete and submit an amendment to the application were provided via confirmation email upon submission of your application. Please refer back to that email and contact Licensing@ncgaming.gov with any questions.

Instructions on how to complete and submit an amendment to the application were provided via confirmation email after you submitted your application. Please refer back to that email and contact Licensing@ncgaming.gov with any questions.

Applicants will be notified via email each time the status of their application changes. The email will be directed to the Primary Contact provided in their application form. Frequent requests for status updates may delay the investigation and review of your application.

It is the goal of the Commission to complete the licensing process efficiently. NC law provides that the Commission will review and make a licensing determination within 60 days from receipt of a completed application. The Commission may extend the review period for an additional 30 days if the background investigation is outstanding.

Any licensee whose business provides determinations on sports wager outcomes needs to have a Service Provider license.

Yes. A licensed Service Provider is deemed to also hold a Supplier license for services, goods, software, or components provided in-house. The Commission recommends that any business that plans to provide services that could fall under both license types seek a Service Provider license so that all their sports wagering related services are covered and authorized under their licensure.

Yes. A licensed Interactive Sports Wagering Operator is deemed to also hold a Service Provider license and a Supplier license for services, goods, software, or components provided in-house.

The Commission cannot approve the scope of an Applicant’s Key Person disclosures based on limited information prior to its application submission. The Applicant bears the ultimate burden of identifying Key Persons for its organization, based upon the statute, Commission Rules, application requirements. The Commission is unable to evaluate the sufficiency of an Applicant’s Key Person disclosures until the full application has been submitted for review.

Generally, no. Commission staff does not provide advisory opinions to Applicants or potential Applicants; general guidance, however, appears in this FAQ. The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

A business entity that conducts advertising, market, or branding on behalf of, or to the benefit of, an Operator does not need to obtain a license from the Commission. However, an Operator must ensure that any individual or entity that undertakes such activities at its direction or for its benefit adheres to statutory requirements, Commission’s rules, and the Operator’s applicable internal controls. An Operator may be held responsible for any affiliate marketer’s failure to do so. The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

An entity that solely provides general payment processing services and does not otherwise provide services uniquely used to create sports wagering markets or determine sports wagering outcomes does not presently require a license with the Commission.

By way of example, general payment processing functions could include serving as mediator between an Operator and the financial institution to facilitate the transfer of funds or enabling Operators to accept credit and debit cards and process related transactions, both online and in-person. When an entity provides to an Operator not only general payment processing functions, but also functions or services that could influence or impact sports wagering activities (e.g, identity or age verification services), then it will likely require a license.

When determining if a self-identified payment processer could influence or impact sports wagering such that it requires a license, the Commission may look at other factors including, but not limited to, whether the entity:

  • Is a business-to-business entity;
  • Directs its services to members of the general public or, specifically, registered players with sports wagering accounts;
  • Holds funds in player accounts;
  • Can access or utilize player data outside of data needed to conduct payment processing activities;
  • Can access, view, influence, or change player accounts, profiles, bets, or odds; or
  • Advertises on behalf of an Operator.
The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

A business entity that provides necessary services to the creation of sports wagering markets in NC, such as geolocation services, needs to obtain a supplier license. The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

A business entity that provides necessary services to the creation of sports wagering markets in NC, such as customer identity, age verification, or “know your customer” services, needs to obtain a supplier license. The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

Generally, no. Businesses providing general purpose telecommunication services, internet services, and other similar services or goods not specifically designed for use in connection with sports wagering that have no direct or indirect influence on sports wagering activities, do not need to obtain a supplier license. The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

Yes. A business entity that provides the operating system or virtual environment used to offer sports wagering over the internet, including websites and mobile devices, on behalf of an Operator, needs to obtain a supplier license. The Commission encourages Applicants and potential Applicants to seek private legal counsel to assist them in determining which license, if any, to apply for. The Commission is unable to provide legal advice.

Yes. Please request an Interactive Sports Wagering Operator License Application. In Section B of the application form, where information regarding the written designation agreement is requested, please respond with “Not Applicable” or “N/A.”

In response to this application question, please provide in the application submission a statement that the organization has never conducted business in North Carolina or has not incurred any state tax liability. If the applicant obtains a sports wagering license in North Carolina, the Commission may request further documentation of tax compliance after the organization’s first tax filings with NC.

The application form and the Multi-Jurisdictional Personal Disclosure may be signed using an electronic signature program that complies with the ESIGN Act, 15 US Code, Chapter 96, or by printing, signing, and scanning the signature page. However, the Statement of Truth at the end of the Multi-Jurisdictional Personal Disclosure must be signed in accordance with the state notary laws in your area. All signature pages must be saved in PDF format and clearly titled and identified.