Regulators have initiated the process of formulating rules for online sports betting in North Carolina joining states that are also considering the prohibition of daily fantasy sports pick’em contests that resemble props.

The Sports Betting Advisory Committee of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission recently approved its set of proposed regulations for online sports betting in North Carolina. These rules can be found on the lottery’s website.

There will be a public comment period until November 1 with a public hearing scheduled for October 27. This rapid response follows an amendment to the North Carolina sports betting law last month.

Sterl Carpenter, Deputy Executive Director of Gaming Compliance and Sports Betting at the NC Lottery stated, “This ensures that we stay on track to meet the deadline” regarding the requirement to launch North Carolina sports betting, between January 8 2024 and June 14 2024.

One aspect addressed in these proposed regulations is how daily fantasy sports are defined by the NC Lottery. According to their definition DFS contests primarily rely on accumulated results based on individual performances.
The rule also outlines five types of contests that are not considered daily fantasy sports. These contests include those based on proposition wagering or contests that simulate proposition wagering or other forms of sports betting.

The Coalition for Fantasy Sports, which represents PrizePicks, Underdog and Sleeper argues that North Carolina lawmakers assured the preservation of pick’em products when they passed the North Carolina sports betting law this year;

“When the legislature approved its sports wagering bill a few months ago it made sure that our contests would continue to be available as fantasy sports. We have confidence that the Lottery Commission will establish rules that align with the intentions and principles of that bill. We eagerly anticipate being involved as stakeholders in the process just as we collaborated with legislators in the previous session to safeguard the fantasy sports games enjoyed by North Carolinians for years.”

An increasing number of states with sports betting are taking a stand against pick’em DFS games. Wyoming and Florida recently sent cease and desist letters to PrizePicks and Underdog. In addition New York and Michigan have adjusted their regulations to prohibit pick’em games.

In Colorado the authorities have made it mandatory for pick’em contests to have a minimum of four outcomes all based on fantasy point accumulations.

The process of establishing rules for North Carolina sports betting involved collaboration between the NC Lottery and Gaming Laboratories International (GLI). This partnership was formed this year.

After the public comment deadline on November 1st a comprehensive presentation will be prepared for the Sports Betting Advisory Committee around November 14th. The rules package consists of 48 proposed rules covering aspects, including general provisions and licensing requirements.

Additionally there are plans to release a set of rules next month along with a draft of NC sports betting apps. During Tuesdays meeting Carpenter briefly mentioned these rules. Directed attendees to their availability on the website.

During his overview Carpenter emphasized the changes made to North Carolina’s sports betting framework as part of the recent state budget approval. These changes now require operators to establish partnerships with professional sports teams or organizations within the state. As of now there are at least 11 teams and organizations that meet the criteria for licensing.

Previously, up to 12 untethered licenses were allowed under the law. Operators have the opportunity to collaborate with teams such as DraftKings North Carolina to establish sportsbooks and would be given priority during the application process.

The progress in North Carolina has been relatively slow compared to other states. The legislation for North Carolina sports betting was initially approved by lawmakers this year and Governor Roy Cooper signed it into law in June. In June the NC Lottery released a list of tasks to accomplish and hired Carpenter in August.

Kentucky, which also passed sports betting legislation this spring, successfully launched its operations last month.

Currently there are three casinos in North Carolina that offer in-person sports betting with North Carolina sportsbook promo codes.

✅ Fact Checked on January 17, 2024 by Ken Weaver