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PENN Entertainment, ESPN BET Gain North Carolina Sports Betting Market Access

Robert Linnehan

by Robert Linnehan in Sports Betting News

Updated Dec 7, 2023 · 4:28 PM PST

  • PENN Entertainment announced a partnership with Quail Hollow Club
  • ESPN BET will now have market access in North Carolina
  • Quail Hollow Club is home to the Wells Fargo Championship, a PGA Tour Signature Event

ESPN BET now has market access to North Carolina sports betting.

PENN Entertainment today announced a long-term strategic partnership with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship ahead of the state’s online sports betting launch sometime in 2024.

Each sports betting operator must secure a partnership with a North Carolina sports franchise, arena, NASCAR Track, or PGA Tour course to be eligible to apply for a sports betting license.

Quail Hollow, Home of the Wells Fargo Championship

The multi-faceted partnership with Quail Hollow Club allows ESPN BET to become the official betting operator of the Wells Fargo Championship, a PGA Tour Signature Event held in Charlotte. As the event’s official sports betting operator, ESPN BET gains marketing access to the event, including opportunities to engage and activate golf fans on-site during the tournament.

“We are thrilled to partner with Quail Hollow Club and the Wells Fargo Championship as we prepare to bring our new online sports betting brand, ESPN BET, to North Carolina,” said Benjie Levy, Head of Penn Interactive, in a press release. “Along with market access, we’re excited to sponsor the popular Wells Fargo Championship and look forward to working together with our new partners to create unique fan activations.”

The bill legalizing North Carolina sports betting was amended during the state’s budgetary process to require each potential sports betting operator reach a deal with a North Carolina professional sports franchise, arena, NASCAR track, or PGA tour course to be eligible to apply for a sports betting license.

ESPN BET is the second operator to gain market access in North Carolina. The Charlotte Hornets and bet365 agreed to the state’s first sports betting deal, with the exclusive partnership naming bet365 as the “Official Mobile Sports Betting Partner of the Charlotte Hornets.”

ESPN BET launched on Nov. 14 and is currently live in 17 states.

“We welcome the upcoming launch of regulated online sports wagering in North Carolina and are extremely pleased to partner with a leading gaming and entertainment operator in PENN Entertainment,” said Johnny Harris, President, Quail Hollow Club. “PENN’s compelling online sports betting brand ESPN BET, cutting-edge technology and extensive operational expertise make them an ideal long-term partner for this industry.”

NC Sports Betting Will Not Launch by Super Bowl

Last week, Lottery Commission Chairman Ripley Rand revealed that the state will not able able to launch online sports betting by Super Bowl LVIII which will be held on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024.

The Lottery Commission recently published its sports betting license applications and set a submission deadline of Wednesday, Dec. 27. Any operator that submits a license application past that deadline will not be eligible for the state’s launch date.

Hundreds of license applications, each several thousand pages long, are expected to be submitted.

After the license applications are submitted, a 60-day window will open for the commission to complete background checks on each applicant. If additional time is necessary, a new 30-day window can be opened

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