North Carolina Sports Betting 2023: When Will NC Apps Launch?
North Carolina sports betting is legal and live for in-person betting. Online sports betting is not yet available, but the state has plans to launch in 2024 after Gov. Roy Cooper signed new online sports betting legislation into law on June 14, 2023. For now, bettors can place wagers at three retail sportsbooks in the state.
North Carolina’s new sports betting law stipulates the industry must go live between January 8, 2024 and June 14, 2024.
Read below for all the latest information about the status of North Carolina sports betting and a look at what the industry will look like.
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes. North Carolina sports betting is legal online and at retail locations. However, online sports betting is not yet available in the state and bettors will have to wait until at least Jan. 8, 2024, for online sportsbooks to launch.
For now, bettors are limited to in-person betting. There are two Caesars sportsbooks in the western portion of the state, and both locations are part of tribal casinos — the similarly named Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. A third tribal casino, Catawba Two Kings is open in King’s Mountain, west of Charlotte.
What’s happening in North Carolina sports betting right now
- Sept. 20, 2023 — A budget proposal by the North Carolina General Assembly, obtained by WRAL, gives access control of the new NC sports betting market solely to the pro sports teams in the state. The budget is being voted on this week.
- Sept. 5, 2023 — North Carolina sports betting regulators announced they have hired Gaming Laboratories International, or GLI, to help launch legal sportsbooks in the state. GLI previously helped get MA and KY sports betting off the ground.
- Aug. 23, 2023 — North Carolina lawmakers shoot down any chance of online casinos getting into the state’s budget. The state’s legislative session ends Aug. 31, and some lobbyists were hoping to get online casinos included in a late expansion of gambling in the state.
- Aug. 9, 2023 — The North Carolina Lottery Commission brings in former Massachusetts regulator Sterl Carpenter to lead its gambling compliance and sports betting division as the state ramps up toward online sports betting.
- July 12, 2023 — With expanded legal sports betting on the horizon in North Carolina, the Charlotte Hornets are reportedly looking into building a new sportsbook either inside the Spectrum Center or nearby. The Carolina Hurricanes are making similar plans for PNC Arena.
- June 28, 2023 — The Carolina Hurricanes are reportedly already in talks with potential sportsbooks to partner with. The new law permits professional sports teams in the state to partner with books.
- June 14, 2023 — North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper officially signs online sports betting legislation into law. At the earliest, bettors will have to wait until Jan. 8, 2024, to be able to place wagers online in the state.
Potential North Carolina sportsbook apps
The new betting law allows for up to 12 online sportsbooks in North Carolina. And while we don’t yet know which sports betting providers will be active in the state, we can guess based upon their previous activities in other states and/or their connections to North Carolina. Here are the most likely candidates to begin offering the best sports betting promotions whenever North Carolina permits online wagering:
- Caesars — Two of North Carolina’s existing retail sportsbooks are Caesars operations.
- DraftKings — DraftKings is already present in North Carolina as a daily fantasy sports provider and has brand recognition working in its favor. It is also one of the most aggressive sportsbooks whenever a new state allows sports betting. In fact, there are few states where online sports betting is legal where DraftKings does not operate a book.
- FanDuel — FanDuel often seems to move in tandem with its DFS rival and is a prime candidate to be part of North Carolina sports betting for many of the same reasons. It is already active in the state as a major DFS provider and is usually one of the first to cross the threshold when a new state opens to online sports betting.
- BetMGM — Even lacking a physical location, BetMGM might still have some brand recognition in North Carolina. It is available as an online sportsbook in neighboring Tennessee and Virginia and is likely the sportsbook of choice for some portion of Tar Heel State residents and visitors already.
North Carolina sports betting law
Rep. Jason Saine filed sports betting bill HB 347 in the North Carolina General Assembly on March 13, 2023, and Gov. Roy Cooper signed it into law on June 14, 2023, after it had bounced back and forth between the Senate and House to receive approval for changes. Here are some of the main features of the new-look North Carolina sports betting industry:
- The bill authorizes up to 12 legal online sportsbooks, as well as eight in-person sportsbooks at professional sports venues in the state. Each license carries a $1 million fee for five years as well as an 18% tax.
- Lawmakers in the Senate also decided to prohibit operators from deducting promotional credits from sports betting revenue.
- Partnerships with the eight North Carolina sports betting venues will give a few different providers a leg up on the competition for licenses, and the venues include an NFL stadium, NBA and NHL arenas, PGA host courses and NASCAR circuits.
- North Carolina online sportsbooks could take $6.8 billion in bets by the second year of legal sports betting, according to LSR projections. That could generate $610.7 million in sports betting revenue for the state.
- Bettors in North Carolina must be 21 years old or older.
- Bettors are able to bet on in-state college teams
Latest North Carolina sports betting news
An industry source said Wednesday that NASCAR officials pushed for proposed NC sports betting law changes that emerged in the state budget. Legislators are voting Thursday and Friday on a…
Legal sports betting options in NC
The only legal sports betting options at the moment in North Carolina are the retail sportsbooks located at the three tribal casinos in the state. Two sportsbooks are operated by Caesars and owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The third is owned and operated by the Catawba Nation.
You must visit one of the following locations to place a legal bet on a sporting event:
- Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort: 777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, NC 28719
- Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel: 777 Casino Parkway, Murphy, NC 28906
- Catawba Two Kings Casino: 538 Kings Mountain Blvd., Kings Mountain, NC 28086
Any site that claims to accept wagering from North Carolina right now is an offshore site based outside of the United States. Those sites come with a variety of legal and logistical concerns that make playing with them dangerous for your money.
Most popular sports to bet on in North Carolina
North Carolina is home to some popular sports teams, both professional and collegiate.
The NFL’s Carolina Panthers will likely lead the way, as the NFL is typically king at sportsbooks. The Panthers play in Charlotte and have made it to the Super Bowl a couple of times in their history.
The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and NBA’s Charlotte Hornets are also local favorites. The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, while the Hornets, with Michael Jordan owning a minority stake, continue to struggle for success.
But the Hornets aren’t the most popular basketball team in the state. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils both have passionately loyal fanbases.
People in North Carolina can bet on those teams, as well as any other Division I college teams in and out of state.
North Carolina and daily fantasy sports
Entering daily fantasy sports competitions is legal in North Carolina. State lawmakers did not pass specific legislation that regulates and taxes DFS, but they did not outlaw the contests, either.
Is horse betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes, pari-mutuel horse betting is legal in North Carolina at the tribal casinos in the state. However, there are no legal online horse betting sites yet.
The same 2019 law that permitted the placement of retail sportsbooks in these venues also allowed bets on races to occur. However, there are no active racetracks in the state, so it’s not immediately clear how much business the racebooks are receiving.
North Carolina sports betting timeline
2023: After a long back-and-forth between the House and Senate, sports betting bill HB 347 passes, and the governor signs it into law on June 14, 2023.
2022: An online sports betting bill, SB 688, begins making its way through committee hearings in February. The Senate bill creates the possibility of 10 to 12 online sportsbooks. It passes the Senate convincingly but runs into strong opposition over its language and provisions in the House. After some debate and foot-dragging in the lower chamber, the bill fails to become law, and North Carolinians must wait at least another year for mobile sports wagering.
The Catawba Two Kings Casino opens a sportsbook in September. The casino sits on the North Carolina-South Carolina border about 40 minutes west of Charlotte.
2021: Legal sports betting begins at two casinos in the state, while a Senate bill aims to legalize online sports betting in the state. The bill is eligible to pick back up in the House when the 2022 session begins.
2019: It takes nearly five months from introduction to signature, but SB 154 passes fairly easily through the Legislature. The Senate supports the bill 43-7, and the House passes it on to Gov. Roy Cooper on a 90-27 vote.
Related pages to North Carolina sports betting
- Virginia sports betting
- West Virginia sports betting
- Maryland sports betting
- Kentucky sports betting
- Tennessee sports betting
- Georgia sports betting
- South Carolina sports betting
- Florida sports betting
North Carolina sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes. Sports betting is legal both online and in person in the state. However, mobile betting is not yet available, so all bets must be placed in person at one of the state’s three casinos. Online sports betting is expected to launch in North Carolina in early 2024.
Who will oversee online sports betting in North Carolina?
The North Carolina Education Lottery. Although retail sports betting in the state takes place under the oversight of the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission, a statewide sports betting market requires greater oversight. As there is no true gambling commission in North Carolina, the most recent sports betting bill in the North Carolina Legislature named the NC Education Lottery as the regulator.
What is the legal gambling age in North Carolina?
Visitors at North Carolina gambling locations must be 21 or older to wager in a casino, and online sports bettors likewise will have to verify that they are 21 or older to place a bet.
Some sports betting websites say they accept bets from North Carolina. Are those legal options?
No. The sites that offer sports betting to North Carolinians right now are based outside of the United States and are not legal. Playing on offshore sites such as these comes with its own set of risks precisely because the sites are outside the jurisdiction of North Carolina and US law. Without the law, you do not have the same protections that you have at regulated sites.