North Carolina could become top 5 sports betting market, reach $1B handle by next year January

North Carolina could become one of the country’s top 5 sports betting markets, according to expert reports. With an estimated 10.8 million people, a range of popular sports teams, and the potential for nine online sportsbooks, the state, which this month launched legal betting, has high growth potential.

This is further supported by a report from GeoComply, which notes that during the first 48 hours of sports wagering, bettors had nearly 370,000 active accounts in the state. Additionally, users logged into their accounts around 5.4 million times during that time. 

“It’s early, but North Carolina is already delivering on lawmaker expectations when they legalized online sports betting last year,” said GeoComply SVP of Compliance Lindsay Slader in a news release. “The state’s well-structured approach to mobile sports betting safeguards consumers and opens up significant revenue streams. With March Madness around the corner, we are excited to see continued growth.”

By way of comparison, GeoComply noted that North Carolina’s northern neighbor, Virginia, had more than two million account log-ins and 134,000 accounts during the same period (the first 48 hours after NC online sports betting launch). This means North Carolina had roughly 2.5 times the geolocation checks and active accounts than Virginia during that same timeframe.

Using Virginia’s handle numbers as a starting point for North Carolina’s handle projections, North Carolina sportsbooks could bring in more than $750 million at some point this year. Not only that, but experts say North Carolina has the potential to become one of only a handful of states to generate more than $1 billion in monthly sports betting handle.  

According to PlayUSA, Predicting March’s handle totals for North Carolina is tricky. All but one of the state’s sportsbooks, Caesars Sportsbook, which launched on Eastern Band of Cherokee land on March 1, will have less than three weeks to bring in bets in March 1. That being said, March Madness should boost betting above $500 million. The late spring and early summer months tend to be slow for sportsbooks.

We won’t know North Carolina’s full potential until the NFL season begins in September, experts at the site noted. At that point, the market will hit its stride, according to the above-mentioned media. Handle numbers should hit $750 million by October and approach (or surpass) $1 billion by January.