ESPN Bet and Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte are teaming up for sports betting.
Rory McIlroy and fans celebrate on the 18th green at Quail Hollow Club in North Carolina during the 2010 Wells Fargo Championship. The golf course that annually hosts the PGA Tour is partnering with ESPN Bet and Penn Entertainment for sports betting. (Image: Getty)
Just days after the North Carolina Education Lottery Commission opened its sports betting application period, ESPN Bet, the newly launched sportsbook brand from Penn Entertainment, teed off a sports betting deal with Quail Hollow.
The private golf club is an annual stop on the PGA Tour with the Wells Fargo Championship. The storied track also hosted the 2017 PGA Championship and last year’s Presidents Cup.
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, president and chief operating officer of Penn Interactive. “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.”
“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,” added Johnny Harris, president of Quail Hollow Club.
ESPN Bet is Penn’s rebranded Barstool Sportsbook following the casino operator agreeing to pay ESPN $1.5 billion over the next 10 years to use the sports media brand in its sports gambling business. The sportsbook launched online in 17 states on November 14.
Forthcoming Sports Betting Market
Since North Carolina doesn’t have commercial casinos, state lawmakers took an atypical path in requiring online sportsbook platforms to partner with professional sports venues to qualify for market entry. For an interactive sportsbook to qualify for license consideration with the Lottery Commission, a company like ESPN Bet must reach a partnership with one of the seven venues below. Each venue can only partner with a single online sportsbook.
Qualifying Sportsbook Venues — Primary Tenant
Bank of America Stadium — NFL Carolina Panthers
Spectrum Center — NBA Charlotte Hornets
PNC Arena — NHL Carolina Hurricanes
WakeMed Park — NWSL North Carolina Courage
Charlotte Motor Speedway — NASCAR
Sedgefield Country Club — PGA Tour
Quail Hollow Club — PGA Tour
Bank of America Stadium, Spectrum Center, PNC Arena, and WakeMed Park will be allowed to offer retail sportsbooks year-round, while the sportsbooks at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the two PGA Tour host golf courses will only offer in-person sports betting during their annual events. Their online sportsbooks, however, can take bets throughout the year.
The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission is accepting sportsbook applications until December 27. ESPN Bet and Quail Hollow’s bid follows the Spectrum Center earlier this month announcing a similar partnership with bet365.
Each sports betting license costs $1 million and is renewable at the same cost every five years. Sportsbooks will share 18% of their gross proceeds with the state.
Until online sportsbooks begin their operations, which is mandated by the state law to happen on or before June 15, 2024, North Carolinians seeking to place a legal sports bet inside the state must visit one of the tribal casinos where in-person sports gambling has been live since 2021.
Tribal sportsbooks are available at Harrah’s Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy, and Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain.
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