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NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) paint scheme for the Charlotte Knights as we look at the May sports betting downturn in North Carolina
NASCAR Cup Series driver Michael McDowell (34) paint scheme for the Charlotte Knights during the All Star race at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Photo by: Jim Dedmon/USA TODAY Sports

The legal sports betting industry in North Carolina got a bit of a reality check Friday, and our best sports betting sites were not unscathed by the summer slowdown. 

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission May report showed that not even the most up-and-coming and newest legal sports wagering jurisdictions are immune to the annual spring/summer sports betting slowdown. Overall, activity in the North Carolina sports betting scene saw double-digit percentage declines month-over-month, as did revenues for sports betting providers and the taxes paid by North Carolina sports betting apps and the state’s retail locations.

In other news, the talk of impending change in America’s newest legal sports betting jurisdiction has continued since its launch in North Carolina. A ban on college player props is still being seriously considered, with a final ruling expected before the end of the current North Carolina legislative session on July 31.

$525.5 million May handle

North Carolina sports betting apps had their worst month so far in May. However, this is a small sample size as the launch of the state’s legal scene has only been active since the second week of March. The absence of March Madness action had a measurable effect on the state’s gambling industry, despite the plenty of North Carolina sportsbook promos available to residents.

North Carolina sportsbooks took in a total of $525.5 million in May, a 19% month-over-month decline from $648.9 million in April and a 20.3% drop from $659.3 million in March’s three weeks of operation.

In just under three months, North Carolina sports betting providers have accepted $1.8 billion in bets, and North Carolina sports betting apps are responsible for $1.6 billion of that total.

June is expected to see another large dip in overall wagering activity, as it will in the broader national scene.

$63.1 million in gross gaming revenue

Just like the May handle, revenues slipped to the lowest level ever for the brand-new North Carolina sports betting industry, as $63.1 million in gross wagering revenue was reported in May. That's a whopping 40.1% month-over-month drop from the $105.25 million during the first full month of legalization, April.

May’s revenue total is also a 5.1% drop from the just under three-week total of $66.5 million from March.

North Carolina‘s best sportsbooks did manage to extend their streak of double-digit holds to three months, however. The win rate was 12.3% in May, compared to April’s 17% hold rate and March’s 10.1% rate.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission did not release tax revenue figures for May. The North Carolina Department of Revenue, however, estimates that $42 million in tax revenue has resulted from the state’s sports wagering operators since going live on March 11.

Promo betting revenue also down

Promotional wagering revenue was obviously high during March's first month of legalization, but the $202.6 million in revenue was reported in March and has been on a steady downward trajectory since. 

Promo revenue was $79.6 million in April, the first full month of sports betting in the Tar Heel State, and in May, that figure dipped 61.2% month over month to $30.9 million.

About the potential ban on college prop betting

Despite the newness of the North Carolina legal sports betting industry, changes look to be afoot for Tar Heel State providers in terms of college prop betting markets. House Bill 967, introduced by Rep. Marcia Morey, could represent the first change in how North Carolina sports betting sites do business.

The Bill would put North Carolina on par with a handful of other top U.S. legal sports betting jurisdictions. Ohio sports betting and Maryland sports betting have already banned college prop betting markets, and Louisiana sports betting will cease such opportunities on August 1.