North Carolina Sports Wagers Well Over $1 Billion In First Months Under New Law, Report Says

People in North Carolina have bet over $1 billion on sports through several gambling operators authorized under a state law to begin taking online wagers two months ago, according to a report released Friday. The customers' early losses are resulting in tens of millions of dollars in state revenue.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which regulates the betting, said that gamblers wagered $1.026 billion on sports activities from smart phones and desktops from March 11 through April 30. That rises to $1.308 billion when “promotional wagers” — incentives offered by companies for new customers to gamble — are included.

Customers have generated winnings of $1.129 billion, although the paid winnings for all of April were $53.3 million less compared to winnings from the three weeks in March when gambling was permitted, the commission report said.

The companies authorized to take bets have received $171.7 million in gross wavering revenue, from which the state receives an 18% cut in taxes. That would work out to $30.9 million.

State law approved in 2023 to legalize the betting directs the government's proceeds go in part to athletic departments at 13 University of North Carolina system schools, amateur sports initiatives and gambling addiction education and treatment.

The sports gambling legislation also authorizes in-person sports wagering, statewide betting on horse races and rules to permit live horse racing. None of the three currently are in place. Before the law was carried out, sports gambling was legal in North Carolina only at three casinos operated by two American Indian tribes.