The past fiscal year was a record-setting period for the North Carolina Education Lottery. The lottery’s new highs in revenue and other metrics are timely in undertaking the regulation of legal online sports betting in the state.
That process is moving along more deliberately than some in North Carolina had hoped. However, there is recent news that represents progress toward implementing the latest legal gambling expansion in the state.
North Carolina Lottery shares record fiscal year numbers
Wednesday’s meeting of the NC Education Lottery Commission was significant for a few reasons. The first of those was a report of the financials from the past fiscal year for the Lottery.
Those numbers represented several new annual highs, including:
- $4.3 billion in sales
- $2.8 billion paid out to players
- $1.1 billion in revenue-sharing payments to the state
- $295.2 million in revenue-sharing payments to retailers
An NC Education Lottery press release stated that revenue-sharing payments to the state surpassed the FY22-23 goal by $130 million. Sharing news of the spoils of FY22-23 wasn’t all that the Commission was up to Wednesday, though.
NC Lottery Commission makes progress toward online sports betting launch
In the aftermath of Raleigh legislators staving off proposals to expand gambling even further, commission members moved on from celebrating the past year’s wins to addressing their duties to create a regulated system for online sports betting in North Carolina.
During the same meeting on Wednesday, the Commission finalized some regulatory matters that pertain to the eventual operation of licensed online sportsbooks in North Carolina. According to Chris Gerlacher of NCSharp, those actions included:
- Amending the contract of Gaming Labs International
- Creating a sports betting committee
- Formulating a plan to accept license applications
Each of those actions is essential to eventually allow online sportsbooks to take bets in North Carolina. That’s the good news. The bad news for North Carolinians eager to gamble online, however, is the time it took to complete those actions.
These actions are essential but very preliminary in the process of rolling out legal online sports betting. Thus, hopes for an early January launch of sports betting apps in North Carolina look dimmer than ever.
A launch in time for Super Bowl LVIII remains a possibility while going live in time for March Madness 2024 looks even more realistic. Wednesday’s meeting of the Commission had an overarching theme of progress. That progress is moving along more slowly for sports betting than lottery ticket sales.