North Carolina moves closer to online sports betting, but not in time for Super Bowl

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The North Carolina State Lottery Commission announced Wednesday that it had approved the form to be used for applications for sports betting licensure on Wednesday, taking a major step forward in the licensing potential operators in North Carolina – but will it be here in time enough for the big game?

Commission Chairman Ripley Rand doesn’t think so.

“We see questions about whether sports betting will be up and running in time for the Super Bowl,” Rand said, “It’s clear, however, with all the work remaining to be done and the timetable set out in state law that unfortunately won’t be the case.”

Rand did say that the application form approval is a key ingredient for getting the sports betting program online.

“Approving applications is a major step forward,” Rand said, “With all the progress we’ve made, we expect to be in a position early in the New Year to announce when sports betting can begin in North Carolina.”

Rand said that the approval makes it possible for the commission to begin taking applications for interactive sports wagering operators as well as any suppliers and providers needed to support the program.

“We know North Carolinians are wondering when the first bets can be made,” said Rand. “Lots of work still needs to be completed. The commission is going to be thoughtful and thorough in its rulemaking. We are committed to being open and transparent in what we do. And we are committed to ensuring fairness for everyone involved.”