Up to 12 mobile sports betting operators are permitted to enter North Carolina’s mobile betting market, and state law requires that mobile sportsbooks be allowed to launch prior to June 14, 2024, but not before Jan. 8, 2024. The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission, a nine-member group, will serve as the state’s sports betting regulator.
While the commission has yet to set official meeting dates to discuss sports betting, the group is working on adding staff and drafting regulations. The commission doesn’t currently include members with extensive backgrounds in sports wagering, but they possess significant business and managerial experience.
The nine commissioners
Ripley Rand is the chair of the lottery commission, and he was appointed by Gov. Cooper. A University of North Carolina graduate, Rand has more than 25 years of legal experience. He’s also been a member of the North Carolina Sports Development Commission.
There are three commissioners whose terms expire at the end of August, although they could have their terms renewed. Among those is Cari Boyce, who has an impressive resume that includes more than 15 years at Duke Energy. Boyce’s background is in managerial roles across both the public and private sector. Cooper appointed Boyce to the commission.
Lindsey Griffin, a retired commercial contractor, is another commissioner whose term expires next month. He was appointed by House Speaker Tim Moore.
The CFO and president of ATM USA, Jason Roth, is the final commissioner with a term expiring at the end of August. Roth has a strong financial background, and he was appointed to the commission by Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.
The person who appoints a commissioner has the option of renewing their term.
“Commissioners can serve two five-year terms,” a commission spokesperson told Sports Handle. “So it is possible that each of the three could be reappointed. Commissioners also serve until their successors are named.”
Chris Hayes was also appointed by Berger, and Hayes brings 25-plus years of experience in North Carolina government to the commission. He previously worked as chief of staff for Thom Thillis when Thillis was North Carolina’s Speaker of the House.
Randy Jones was appointed by current House Speaker Tim Moore and is a real estate broker. Nigel Long was appointed by Cooper and is an investment banker. Long founded The Dilworth Companies, a private investment firm, as well as Trade Street Advisors.
Joshua Malcolm was also appointed to the commission by Cooper, and he’s the president and CEO of Lumbee Tribe Holdings, the for-profit branch of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
Finally, Pam Whitaker is a retired human resources professional who founded Key Resources. Whitaker previously served on the commission from 2008-12, and she was appointed by Cooper.
Commission seeks additional staffing
The commissioners don’t have sports betting regulatory experience, which is why the entity is in the process of adding staff with industry knowledge and backgrounds.
“The responsibilities for licensing and regulating sports betting operators and advanced deposit wagering operators is a new responsibility for the Commission and it plans to hire a professional staff to perform those functions and then to oversee the staff’s work,” an FAQ section of the commission website explains.
Hiring is underway. In June, the lottery posted job openings for a deputy executive director of gaming compliance and sports betting, as well as associate attorney and senior attorney roles that are related to the expansion of sports wagering in the state.
Expect to see those roles filled in the near future, as applications for the deputy executive director role and the associate attorney position won’t be accepted after Wednesday. Candidates seeking the senior attorney job have until July 12 to apply.