Data shows North Carolina bettors want mobile options

North Carolina lawmakers expect to introduce mobile sports betting legislation in the near future as bettors in the state seek greater access to sports betting. While the state allows retail sports betting at three tribal casinos, mobile sports betting is illegal in the state.

This has led to some bettors traveling across state lines to bet, according to data from GeoComply. The geolocation security and compliance company shared data with Sports Handle that shed light on some North Carolinians’ desire to bet on their phones.

Weather are looking for mobile options

During the 2022 NFL season, which lasted from September 8 through February 12, GeoComply identified 1.75 million transactions from North Carolina that accessed legal mobile sportsbooks in other states. The attempts came from 166,000 unique player accounts.

There is clearly an appetite among bettors to use legit mobile betting platforms. The GeoComply data doesn’t even take into account the bettors who used illegal platforms to place mobile bets during the 2022 NFL season.

Most attempts within North Carolina to use other sports betting platforms attempted to use sportsbook from Virginia. Virginia allows mobile sports betting and major operators like BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings and FanDuel operate there.

Since the start of the NFL season, GeoComply has processed 5,422 transactions from bettors who attempted to log into a Virginia betting site just across the state line in North Carolina before traveling to Virginia and placing a bet. This data makes it clear that some North Carolina customers are willing to cross state lines to use a regulated sports betting platform.

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Courtesy of GeoComply Legislative Push

North Carolina was close to legalizing mobile sports betting in 2022, but a bill fell through late in the legislature. There is great optimism among sports betting players that 2023 will be the year when the state legalizes mobile betting.

“It’s something that I believe has the support of a majority of both houses,” Sen. Phil Berger told WCNC Charlotte in January. “It’s something that the public as a whole supports. If you have a phone, you already have access to it. You shouldn’t, but it’s there.”

The issue of allowing wagering on college sports was an issue in the last legislature and could become a debate again in 2023. North Carolina’s legislative session ends in late August, but there’s a crossover deadline in May, and stakeholders likely want to act quickly in hopes of a start at or near the start of the 2023 NFL season.