North Carolina sports betting crossed another regulatory milestone this week despite state lottery officials tabling market access restrictions aimed at the daily fantasy space.

On Tuesday, the NC lottery’s Sports Betting Advisory Committee signed off on draft sports wagering rules and standards that now head to the full Commission for final approval on Thursday. The unanimous committee vote keeps North Carolina on pace to meet its legislated mandate to launch regulated betting by June 2024.

However, the same panel pumped the breaks on implementing a controversial policy that would have barred DFS operators like FanDuel North Carolina from offering pick’em style contests popularized by their core fantasy products.

Responding to some industry pushback, regulators decided more time is needed to evaluate the potential fantasy sports policy move rather than rush decisions that might disrupt legislative momentum.

So North Carolina sports betting legislation steams forward while daily fantasy hangs in limbo for now. The temporary regulatory separation drew approval from Commissioner Cari Boyce during Tuesday’s meeting.

Boyce noted that with the next committee gathering not slated until December, North Carolina won’t make the ambitious January 8th target launch date outlined in the legislation anyway. Her comments cast further doubt sports betting will open in time for Super Bowl action in February.

But with this week’s advancement of baseline rules, Boyce said “we remain on track” to unveil betting markets at some point during the legislature’s spring 2024 window.

Behind the scenes, Deputy Lottery Director Sterl Carpenter is shepherding the complex march towards launch by finalizing tax rates, licensing procedures and responsible gambling guardrails. That infrastructure must fully take shape before regulators begin sifting through North Carolina sportsbook applications and promo deals.

While some uncertainty lingers around timing and unsettled regulatory items, North Carolina continues inching towards opening a coveted sports betting market.

Once the legislative pieces fully align, operators like FanDuel figure to unleash bespoke North Carolina integrations and localized promotions befitting one of America’s most passionate sports states.

The impending launch promises Tar Heels fans and bettors plenty of incentives to download new North Carolina sports betting apps and partake legally. Just don’t expect to have regulated outlets ready for the Super Bowl, or potentially even March Madness.

Stay patient North Carolina sports enthusiasts. Clarity on launch timing comes soon enough, then the mobile betting bonanza arrives at last in 2024 after this week’s regulatory progress.

✅ Fact Checked on January 17, 2024 by Ken Weaver