Sports betting apps launch in North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — The countdown is on. In about 10 days, sports betting in the Tar Heel State will go live. Until then, bettors can shop around at the eight sportsbooks approved for licenses in the state, set up accounts, and deposit cash.

“I look at March 11 as being Black Friday for sports betting in North Carolina,” said Steve Bittenbender with “It gives you a chance to take a look, see what’s out there, pick a couple of sports books that you like, and you get all of the bureaucratic process out of the way.”

Now, bettors in North Carolina can also see what platforms are offering the best sign-up deals.

“We’re predicting a first-year handle, which is the total amount we expect to be wagered in the ballpark, of about $6.5 billion for the first 12 months,” Bittenbender said. “Just within North Carolina.”

Naturally, some have elevated concerns gambling helplines will see an influx of calls. The North Carolina Problem Gambling program is what they would call gambling neutral. Their concern with the launch of sports betting in the state is the youth population up to college age whose brains are still developing.

“The crossover between kids engaging in gaming activities that mimic these types of gambling behaviors, many of them may not even think of it as gambling,” said Alison Wood, Youth Prevention Coordinator at North Carolina Problem Gambling Program. “They may think they’re just online playing another game.”

The parents may think that too. A recent Mott poll on parent awareness of online betting among teens found that more than half (55%) of parents don’t know their state’s legal age for online betting and only two percent think their teen has used an online betting platform.

“A colleague of mine, specifically, provides treatment for those experiencing gambling disorder with sports betting,” Wood said, “and what he’s finding is a lot of concerned parents are calling him first, and then they’re having their kids come in for counseling.”

Sportsbooks will pay an 18% tax on their gaming revenue. That could result in $120-$130 million in tax revenue based on initial estimates.

That money will get split up between the lottery commission, responsible gaming, south sports, and state college athletic departments, to name a few.