North Carolina’s professional sports teams could potentially gain control in the NC sports betting market according to a budget proposal from the North Carolina General Assembly obtained by WRAL on Monday. The proposal suggests that access to the sports betting market should be exclusively granted to the state’s sports teams. Under the online NC sports betting law priority for licenses is given to operators partnered with these organizations.

The General Assembly is expected to vote on this $30 billion budget proposal this week. As per the signed NC sports betting law earlier this year the industry must go live between January 8 2024 and June 14 2024.

This move by North Carolina has left industry experts perplexed. According to sources who spoke with us it seems that the legislative proposal was made without informing or involving the original sponsors of the sports betting legislation from earlier this spring.

One source mentioned that Rep. Jason Saine does not support these changes and is working towards getting rid of this language from the proposal.

Another source described North Carolina as being in disarray regarding this matter. Apparently it was not practice, for those seeking amendments to exclude consultation with the sponsors of the initial sports betting legislation.

If approved these changes could significantly impact how NCs sports betting law operates. The proposed budget removes a limitation of having twelve mobile operators in place.

In the language approved by Cooper operators are not required to have agreements with professional sports organizations. However they can open up to eight sportsbooks.

If the budget is passed along with the proposal the Lottery will only grant licenses to sports wagering operators who have a written agreement with one of the organizations. Least nine professional sports organizations would meet these criteria.

✅ Fact Checked on January 17, 2024 by Ken Weaver