Legal sports betting has officially launched in North Carolina. A partnership between William Hill and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians launched two retail-only sportsbooks on March 18, 2021 at the Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos in Cherokee and Murphy. Under existing legislation, only in-person sports betting at specified tribal casinos is allowed in North Carolina.
NC SB 154 was quickly passed through the Senate and House in the spring of 2019 and was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper soon after in July.
Before this progressive move, North Carolina was not friendly to gambling of any kind. They were one of the last states to introduce a state lottery in 2005. Even up until 2012, the government was only allowing slots and electronic poker at tribal casinos. Things like dog and horse racing, which have been longtime staples in other states, were illegal in North Carolina. Daily fantasy sites are legal in North Carolina as they are classified as games of skill.
The need to increase revenue in North Carolina has led to more table games being allowed, the approval for additional tribal casinos to be built, and most recently legalized sports betting and horse racing at tribal casinos.
North Carolina Sports Betting at a Glance
Governor Roy Cooper signed NC SB 154 to allow for legal sports betting on July 16, 2019.
It took nearly two years for sportsbooks to launch at two tribal casinos operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, the location of these casinos does make for a rather long road trip for North Carolinians on the eastern side of the state. The Catawba Nation tribe is also expected to open a future casino that could offer sports betting in the Kings Mountain area.
While it was a big move for the traditionally conservative state to legalize sports betting, no forms of online or mobile sports betting have been approved so far. If North Carolina residents wish to place a sports bet, they must be physically inside one of the state’s tribal casinos.
The good news for fans of North Carolina’s very successful college teams is that betting is allowed on local college teams. This is not the case in some other states which have legalized sports betting. North Carolina actually has more Division 1 NCAA teams than any state outside of Texas and California.
Where to Bet on Sports in North Carolina
Retail sports betting is currently limited to two tribal casinos operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Both branded under the Harrah’s name, the Cherokee casinos feature full-service sportsbook lounges operated by the longtime powerhouse William Hill.
Here’s where you can legally bet on sports in North Carolina:
|Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino||The Book||777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719||Coming soon|
|Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel||The Book||777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906||Coming soon|
*Hours are subject to change due to COVID-19
North Carolina Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes. North Carolina was the seventh state to legalize sports betting in July 2019.
Is online gambling legal in North Carolina?
No. Sports betting in North Carolina is only allowed within the state’s tribal casinos. North Carolinians who want to bet online will have to head to Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia online sports betting for the time being.
What is the legal age to place sports bets in North Carolina?
You must be 21 to bet on sports legally.