As North Carolina prepares to legalize mobile sports betting, nine major operators have applied for coveted online sportsbook licenses. This includes big names like BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars. If approved, these North Carolina betting apps could launch in time for March Madness, pending regulatory approval.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission has scheduled an urgent meeting for Wednesday to consider “sports betting authorization.” This suggests the Commission aims to approve license applications swiftly. Governor Roy Cooper wants betting apps running by the NCAA Tournament, and lottery officials are pressing applicants to submit required documentation ASAP.

Landing one of these limited North Carolina sports betting licenses won’t come cheap. Approved mobile operators face a $1 million initial fee plus additional taxes. But the payoff could be huge if apps go live for the busy basketball postseason.

That’s why major players like FanDuel North Carolina and DraftKings have jumped into the mix alongside gaming giants Caesars and BetMGM. The latter has already made moves through a partnership with the Carolina Panthers. In fact, BetMGM North Carolina bonus offers could arrive shortly after launch.

Tribal groups will also play a role. North Carolina’s two gaming tribes, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Catawba Nation, have applied. The Cherokee already run retail sportsbooks at their two casinos under a 2019 law. The Catawba are still exploring options but could join the mobile fray.

These tribal books and potential commercial betting facilities will supplement the main attraction – mobile apps. Most bettors prefer the convenience of North Carolina sports betting on their phones. Geo-location tech will ensure bets are placed within state lines as required by law.

If licenses are granted soon, leading operators will likely unleash major promotional offers for app customers. Generous North Carolina sportsbook promos could include free bets, deposit matches, odds boosts and bracket contests around March Madness.

With launch potentially weeks away, North Carolina could join the 30+ states that now host legal sports betting. Pending regulatory approval, Tar Heel State sports fans may soon bet on mobile from top brands. It sets up a head-to-head battle for customers as sportsbooks vie for market share.

✅ Fact Checked on January 27, 2024 by Ken Weaver