On March 1, 2024, history was made in North Carolina as Caesars Sportsbook NC logged the state’s first-ever mobile sports wager. This significant event marked the introduction of North Carolina sports betting apps into the market. Caesars, in collaboration with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), took this pioneering step. Together, they operate two Harrah’s casinos located in the state’s western part. This partnership paved the way for Caesars to secure a mobile sports betting license, making them the first to launch an online sportsbook in North Carolina.

How Caesars Led the Way in Online Sports Betting

The journey to this landmark moment began over two decades ago with a partnership between Caesars Entertainment and the EBCI. This alliance, coupled with a gaming compact they created with North Carolina, allowed them to offer tribal casino gaming and retail sports betting in the state. This was following the 2021 legislative approval of two gaming expansions.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) played a crucial role in this development. It set conditions that allowed Caesars Sportsbook NC to kick off online sports betting slightly ahead of schedule. The IGRA provisions mean that the Cherokee have a different timeline for launching such services compared to commercial operators in North Carolina. This regulatory framework facilitated Caesars’ early entry into the online betting scene on tribal lands.

When House Bill 347, legalizing online sports betting in North Carolina, became effective on January 8, 2024, Caesars and the EBCI were theoretically ready to start mobile betting. However, they awaited the North Carolina Lottery Commission’s (NCLC) issuance of online operator licenses. On March 1, the NCLC announced the award of eight online sports betting operator licenses, including one for the EBCI, allowing Caesars to immediately launch its online sportsbook on tribal lands.

Capitalizing on the Early Start

The distinction of placing the first online bet in North Carolina went to a wager on South Alabama (-7.5) against LA-Monroe, which turned out to be a winning bet. This event occurred ten days before any other operators could accept wagers, giving Caesars a significant head start.

The rest of the North Carolina sports betting scene will come alive at noon on March 11, with seven additional operators joining the fray. These include FanDuel Sportsbook NC, DraftKings Sportsbook NC, BetMGM Sportsbook NC, Bet365 Sportsbook NC, ESPN Bet Sportsbook NC, Fanatics Sportsbook NC, and Underdog Sportsbook NC. The timing is impeccable, arriving just before major basketball tournaments that captivate sports fans nationwide.

Despite this advantage, Caesars has chosen not to engage in a high-stakes spending war on North Carolina sportsbook promos. Instead, they aim to leverage new app upgrades and their well-established presence in the state to attract users.

The Future of Online Sports Betting in North Carolina

The introduction of mobile betting brings North Carolina sports betting into a new era. Operators like BetMGM North Carolina are poised to offer enticing promos and bonuses, such as the BetMGM North Carolina bonus code, to attract new users. As the market expands, these platforms will likely become key players in the state’s sports betting scene.

With a ten-day lead, Caesars Sportsbook has set the stage for what promises to be a riveting first month of online sports betting in North Carolina. The impact of this head start on Caesars’ revenue, especially during a period bustling with major sports events, is something to watch. The competition among operators will intensify as they vie for the attention of sports betting enthusiasts, offering a mix of promotions, betting options, and user-friendly experiences.

As North Carolina sports fans embrace this new form of entertainment, the landscape of sports betting in the state is set to evolve. The introduction of North Carolina sports betting apps not only enhances the betting experience but also signals the growth of a vibrant market. With strategic partnerships and innovative platforms entering the scene, the future of sports betting in North Carolina looks brighter than ever.

✅ Fact Checked on March 5, 2024 by Oliver