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Online Sportsbook Registration Begins New Relationship Between Gambling And North Carolina

The launch of legal online sports betting in North Carolina may represent a mere shell of the state’s potential in the online gambling space.

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Derek Helling Avatar
7 mins read

Ah, the early days of romantic relationships, when infatuation flutters and the excitement around learning all about a new person occupies the senses. Regardless of how events proceed as relationships mature, there is always a beginning. In fact, among the most common conversations about relationships, both old and young, is “how did you meet?”

Online gambling companies are just getting to know North Carolina residents, beginning Friday with the start of registration for sports betting apps. Check out Legal Sports Report for an NC sportsbook pre-launch guide.

The option to bet on sports online is like those first few weeks that could lead to a fuller relationship with North Carolina online casino play to come.

North Carolina online casino play remains in the relationship goals space

You’ve probably seen myriad social media posts of couples celebrating their “coupleness,” with a photo collage and a heartfelt message or a reel sharing what becomes a not-so-intimate moment. While many of these posts are cringe-worthy, some could be described as relationship goals.

At this time, the legalization of online casino play in North Carolina might also be described as a relationship goal. In August 2023, North Carolina Sen. Jim Perry said there was “not a chance in hell” that the legislation that ultimately legalized online sports betting in the state would do the same for online casino play.

Those words rang true even though others in the North Carolina legislature voiced some openness to legal online casino play. Regardless, the expansion of legal online gambling in 2023 focused on sports betting only.

Right now, there are no prominent conversations in Raleigh around further expansion. Thus, it could be years, if ever, that North Carolina seriously considers joining the eight states that currently allow for such gaming.

Many online gambling companies hoping to woo North Carolinians with online sports betting opportunities will likely be ready for that expansion should it occur. What they hope will be a long-term relationship begins Friday.

Online sportsbooks begin accepting account registrations in North Carolina

At noon local time on Friday, March 1, 2024, North Carolina residents and visitors can start flirting with legal online sports betting. The North Carolina Lottery Commission set March 1 as the date licensed sportsbooks can start accepting account registrations and deposits in their apps.

Provided everything goes smoothly, licensees may be able to start actually accepting bets on Monday, March 11. The early registration window will allow North Carolinians to get ready for that day, whenever it comes.

To be eligible to bet on sports online in North Carolina legally, people must be at least 21 years of age. Additionally, they must use a sports betting app that has a license from the North Carolina Lottery. Those options include:

  • Bet365
  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • ESPN Bet
  • Fanatics
  • FanDuel
  • Underdog Sports

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission on Thursday issued the first interactive sports wagering operator licenses to those eight companies. Caesars will gain access to the online sports betting market via the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise license.

“Issuing the first interactive sports wagering operator licenses today represents a major milestone in establishing legal sports betting in North Carolina,” Ripley Rand, chair of the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, said in a news release Thursday. “North Carolinians can begin signing up for accounts on their mobile devices on Friday with the confidence they will soon be able to make wagers on their favorite sporting events securely and responsibly. We’re just 11 days away from the start of sports betting in North Carolina and we will be working every day between now and then to see that our launch is a successful one.”

Bettors must register with each individual app they plan to use. Doing so is not only fast but free as well. The process is a lot easier than navigating most relationships.

Registering for an online sportsbook in North Carolina

As sports betting is a form of gambling, verifying users’ identities is more important than making sure they aren’t getting catfished. They need to do this to comply with federal and state laws. Such standards dictate that users can only have one account with each sportsbook and exist to deter money laundering. In addition, verification ensures that users are of the appropriate age to gamble.

To facilitate this, North Carolina sports betting apps will prompt users for several pieces of identifying information. That could include their legal names and parts of their Social Security Numbers. Other controls may include submitting a live photograph and images of government-issued identification cards.

To initiate the process, simply download the respective app(s) that you want to sign up for onto your Android or iOS device. Then, follow the prompts for signup in the app(s). One thing to note is that if you have already bet with these companies in another state, you can usually just sign in to the apps using your existing credentials. The app will then verify your eligibility to wager in North Carolina.

While it may take some additional time, there are reasons to sign up for more than one app. All of them are to the benefit of the bettor. It can be similar to swiping through the options on a dating app.

Reasons to swipe right on multiple sports betting apps

The best way to gamble online is playing with house money. These online sportsbooks will roll out some of their best promotions around registration and launch time in North Carolina. The more of them you register for, the more promotional deals you can take advantage of.

The benefits of having an account with multiple sportsbooks continue past the initial stage of your relationship with the books, however. It’s kind of like seeing multiple people for an extended period. It boils down to comparison shopping.

If you are seriously shopping for an item, you’ll probably view the prices multiple sellers offer and go with what you feel is the best deal. The same principle applies to sports betting. While lines and odds are often similar across multiple apps, some margins can make a difference.

If you only sign up for one sportsbook and have a bet you want to make, you only have two choices: accept the line and odds that the book offers or pass on making the bet. If you have accounts on multiple apps, you can look for the best price and be confident that you have found it.

Additionally, one book may offer a promotion tied to the bet you want to make while another doesn’t. When it comes to online sports betting, it can pay to have zero loyalty if you do win your bet. In truth, there is just one facet of online gambling you should make a hard commitment to. That is betting on sports responsibly.

Betting with your head instead of your heart

Some people can become blinded by love. Being unaware of responsible gambling practices can be a lot more dangerous, though. That’s why regulated sportsbooks like those launching in North Carolina offer responsible gambling tools.

These tools include custom limits you can set for both the amount of money and time you can spend in the app. The controls also allow you to mandate a break in the action for yourself and include resources you can access if you feel like you’re on shaky ground.

One of those resources is a new self-exclusion program that North Carolina offers to people in the state free of charge. Habits to create around your play that will help keep you in a healthy relationship with gambling include:

  • Expecting to lose and never chasing losses
  • Setting a limit for how much you will spend and sticking to it
  • Sharing your gambling activity honestly and openly
  • Taking a break if you find yourself getting too worked up about gambling or struggling to focus on other things
  • Viewing your gambling as an entertainment expense and never a way to make money

Building up a healthy relationship with North Carolinians is an ambition of online gambling companies. Unhealthy relationships are just as bad for them as they are for people in the state. Among the primary reasons for that is a high rate of problematic gambling behaviors in North Carolina could thwart the potential expansion into online casino play.

Will North Carolina ever legalize online casino play?

At this time, it’s hard to answer the question with any certainty in either the affirmative or the negative. While a survey suggests that North Carolinians support the expansion into physical commercial casinos, there is no such data for online casino platforms.

What is certain, however, is that online gambling companies would love to see it. Online casino play for them can be far more lucrative than online sports betting. To get a sense of that, sports wagering is currently legal in some form in most of the US, 38 states and Washington, DC, to be exact.

Meanwhile, online casino play for actual US dollars is only legal in eight states and active in six. Despite being available in less than a sixth as many jurisdictions, online casino revenue for 2023 represented almost 44% of the total revenue that all legal sports betting (including in-person wagering) wrought in 2023 according to the American Gaming Association.

Thus, if North Carolina is worth an estimated $600 million annually for online gambling companies when it comes to sports betting revenue, it could be worth billions of dollars for the same when it comes to online casino play. For this reason, online gambling companies could spend resources in the future lobbying for further expansion.

How effective that schmoozing will be and how soon it will materialize are as up in the air as the fate of most young relationships. The courtship, to whatever end, will begin on Friday.

Derek Helling Avatar
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Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

View all posts by Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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