North Carolina Sports Betting Takes Hit In June

New Low For Betting Since March Legalization

With fewer NBA and NHL postseason games going on, there was a major North Carolina sports betting June decrease as North Carolinians wagered much less on online sports bets than they did in any of the previous three months since online sports betting was legalized in the state in March.

The total handle for the state came in at a shade under $382 million, an almost $113 million drop from the previous month. June was the first month since legalization with a state-wide handle under $400 million.

While it’s way too early to be concerned that Tarheel State residents (and tourists) are losing their interest in best bets today, the amount of decline from month-to-month is definitely something to watch. After opening up with $456 million in handle in March — despite legalization not beginning until March 11th — handle rose to $569 million in April before dropping to $494 million in May.

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So, the dip from May to June continues a troubling trend that probably can’t be fully explained by the fewer betting options over the summer.

Still, online sports betting is new enough in North Carolina that these kinds of fluctuations aren’t so out-of-the-ordinary as bettors and sportsbook operators get their feet under themselves.

Summer reductions in betting handle are to be expected so the numbers might get even worse in July and August before bouncing back once the NFL season starts up again in September. Plus, North Carolina is a huge college sports state and there’s no bettable college basketball or football from May through most of August which also can explain the decline.

Big Revenue Decrease As Well

Unsurprisingly, the North Carolina sports betting June decrease led to a sizable dip in profits for sportsbook operators who still had a nice month but cleared much less in profits than in the previous months since legalization. After $66 million in profit in March, a huge $105 million profit in April and a respectable $63 million figure in May, profit dropped all the way to $40 million for June.

To be clear, that’s not a number to scoff at but a roughly 30 percent haircut in profit is always going to be eye-catching.

The good news for operators in North Carolina is that the state imposes a relatively low 18 percent tax on sports betting profits so operators got to take home around $33 million of the total profit with the state getting $7 million in tax revenue.

That’s a nice tidy sum for the state that, besides instituting the regulatory framework for sports betting legalization, doesn’t require much work or risk on North Carolina’s behalf. But, it’s still a much lower tax incidence than in other states, such as New York.

Operators will only profit more from the free expert picks they may provide to bettors once handle rises again when college and NFL football return to the calendar in a month and a half or so. The ebbs and flows of the sports gambling year are very cyclical and, right now, the calendar is in a low state but that doesn’t mean it’ll stay like that forever.

Signs Of Optimism

While it’s tough to be too positive following such a precipitous North Carolina sports betting June decrease, the fact that North Carolina — in only a couple of months — has built up such a large betting base is a sign that the state will be just fine going forward.

To post huge handle figures right from the get-go shows that there is plenty of sports betting interest in North Carolina and that numbers should shoot up when college sports come back and the NFL — the king-maker of all sports betting operators — returns to play.

Public bets on MLB over the summer aren’t going to come close to matching the volume of what bets are like during NFL and college sports in the fall, winter and early spring. So, if you want take a positive stance, you can view it as a good thing that handle figure are still in the $400 million ballpark into June even if things will get worse in July and August.

All in all, sports betting in North Carolina looks pretty good right now and there is only room to grow with legalization being so new. We don’t even know what the state’s betting market is going to look like during peak times because legalization started a month or so after the Super Bowl. Things are looking up even if the recent results don’t indicate that they should be.

For Gambling news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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