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.
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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.
Latest North Carolina Online Sports Betting News
Online sports betting could soon be a reality in the Tar Heel State. Here are all the latest updates:
- March 13, 2023: A new North Carolina online sports betting bill has been filed, as Rep. Jason Saine introduced bill HB 347 in the North Carolina House of Representatives. This new NC online sports betting bill would allow for up to 12 mobile sportsbook operators, with five-year licenses priced at $1 million each and a 14% tax rate. If approved, North Carolina online sports betting would be eligible for a Jan. 1, 2024 launch date.
- February 21, 2023: After failing to legalize online sports betting in 2022, North Carolina lawmakers will introduce new legislation to legalize mobile wagering in the Tar Heel State. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) believes this new online sports betting bill has a better chance of passing in 2023, with bi-partisan support behind legalizing North Carolina sports betting apps.
- June 22, 2022: Both North Carolina online sports betting bills cleared the House Finance and House Rules committee and will now be heard on the House floor. SB 688 has already been approved by the Senate, and if it’s approved by the House, it would be sent to Gov. Roy Cooper for a final signature. If either sports betting bill as approved, North Carolina online sports betting would launch no sooner than January 1, 2023.
- June 21, 2022: Two North Carolina online sports betting bills, SB 688 and SB 38, were approved by a House Judiciary committee. The two pieces of legislation now move to the House Finance and House Rules committee before a potential hearing on the House floor.
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||24/7|
|Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel||The Book||777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906||24/7|
North Carolina Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes, retail sports betting is currently legal in North Carolina. 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.