While there’s still no official target date for when legal online sportsbooks could start taking bets in North Carolina, the semblance of a timeline could soon emerge. A Wednesday meeting of the North Carolina Sports Betting Advisory Committee may have established a rough time frame.
During the meeting, committee members approved a set of application forms for the North Carolina State Lottery Commission to consider. If the commission approves them as the committee submitted them, hopeful licensees will have a little less than a month to respond.
Dec. 27 could be the license application deadline
During the meeting, committee members made a few things clear. The first and foremost of those is that it’s still too early to set a target date for when legal sports betting apps could go live in North Carolina.
At the same time, the committee seemed to shed some light on that matter. The committee hopes to have approved license application forms available for applicants as soon as possible after the commission approves them. The committee cannot do that on its own.
Committee members expressed their hopes that the license applications would be available by Dec. 4, at the latest. Building on that, they hope that applicants will submit their completed forms by Dec. 27.
That is the date the committee hopes to start considering those applications for licensure. By law, the committee can take up to 90 days to do so. The committee was clear in that this is still all tentative and to a large extent out of their hands, though.
Timeline still open-ended for online sports betting
Committee members expressed that as soon as the license application forms are available, moving the process along speedily mostly depends on the applicants. The more quickly they complete and submit their forms, the sooner the review process can begin.
The tentative Dec. 27 deadline is just for consideration for approval to start taking bets at the first legal opportunity. It would not represent an absolute drop-dead date for potential licensees. Applicants could still submit their forms after that date.
In doing so, they would risk launching later than other operators who got their applications in on deadline. Amid the wait for license forms to come in, regulators have other matters to attend to. For example, the commission still needs to approve a second set of regulations for online sports betting.
If things go smoothly, a launch of legal sports betting apps in North Carolina could happen in time for March Madness 2024. The quality of that smoothness depends on many factors and parties at this point, though.