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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sports betting in North Carolina to bolster bottom line at HBCUs

Mobile sports betting is now legal in North Carolina and HBCUs are set to benefit from it.

A new law, passed last June, went into effect on Monday that allows adult bettors to start placing legal wagers via mobile phone. As such, the State of North Carolina is set to disperse nearly $2 million dollars to more than a dozen of its schools, including HBCUs.

The five state-funded HBCUs — Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central and Winston-Salem State — along with other state schools are being given  $1 million each for their athletic departments at the initial 10 schools in the 2023-24 fiscal year budget and $700,000 in the 2024-25 fiscal year budget.

“On a pound-for-pound basis, we expect that North Carolina is going to be one of the better states for sure,” said Gary Deutsch, the chief financial officer for BetMGM, one of the eight operators in North Carolina. “There’s fervent sports-fan interest. The population of fans for the different colleges down there should make that a big source of excitement.”

North Carolina sports betting HBCUs

The state budget also allocated $1.16 million for each of the 13 athletic departments from sports betting revenue in the 2024-25 budget. So the 10 initial programs (including HBCUs) could see close to $2 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1 as the state reaps the benefits of sports betting.

Universities in North Carolina cannot use state funds for athletics unless they are specifically marked for sports. This often leads to heavy reliance on student-athletics fees. So when sports betting was on the table in the state a few years ago, legislators and athletics directors discussed a plan to help bring in additional revenue for the state’s smaller programs. It took a while to pass, but it happened last summer and now HBCUs, as well as others, stand to benefit from mobile sports betting in North Carolina.  

Sports betting in North Carolina to bolster bottom line at HBCUs

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