Excitement is building for the launch of North Carolina sports betting. Gov. Roy Cooper has stated for a third time that he hopes North Carolina sports betting apps will be online by March Madness to capitalize on the hugely popular NCAA basketball tournament.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which is overseeing the launch, is feeling pressure from the Governor’s office to have North Carolina sports betting promos ready to go by mid-March. Nine sports betting operators have submitted license applications, though none have been formally approved yet.

Sterl Carpenter, head of the state’s new sports betting division, said online sportsbooks will likely launch before retail locations. This accelerated timeline gives hope that major operators like BetMGM could have their BetMGM North Carolina bonus code ready for the opening tip-off of March Madness.

Seven operators – Bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, FanDuel Sportsbook, and Underdog Sports – met an early December deadline to apply for licenses to ensure they can launch online immediately when North Carolina’s market opens.

With March 21 marking the start of the men’s NCAA tournament, the Lottery Commission faces a time crunch to vet sportsbooks and finalize rules. But Gov. Cooper is applying pressure, telling reporters on January 9 that “the idea is to try to get [online sports betting] in place before March Madness.”

✅ Fact Checked on January 27, 2024 by Ken Weaver