North Carolina Sports Betting
North Carolina sports betting is legal at three retail sportsbooks in the state. A new bill, HB 347, to allow online sports betting is currently under consideration during the 2023 legislative session.
Two of the tribal casinos are located in the western portion of North Carolina and are not particularly close to the major population centers in the state. The other casino is about 35 miles from Charlotte, but many Carolinians still do not have a legal sportsbook convenient to them in their home state.
Read below for all the latest information about legal sports betting in North Carolina.
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes. Retail sports betting is legal and active in North Carolina. There are two Caesars sportsbooks in the western portion of the state. 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, began offering sports betting in September 2022.
What’s happening in North Carolina sports betting right now
- March 30, 2023 – The North Carolina House voted in favor of HB 347, 64-45. the bill will now pass onto the Senate, which passed a similar bill last session.
- March 24, 2023 – HB347 advanced through three House committees this week and will likely receive a floor vote next week.
- March 22, 2023 – HB347 was passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives’ commerce committee with 17-10 vote. The bill now moves to the chamber’s finance committee.
- March 16, 2023 – A new sports betting bill, HB 347, was filed in the North Carolina General Assembly by Rep. Jason Saine. The proposed bill would authorize between 10 to 12 North Carolina sportsbooks.
- February 24, 2023 – A new North Carolina sports betting bill is expected to be introduced as early as February 27, according to industry sources. The new legislation will likely mirror a 2022 effort that passed the Senate, but stalled in the House.
- February 7, 2023 – North Carolina Sen. Phil Berger said he thinks there will be enough support this year for an online sports gambling bill to pass in the state. It appears legislators are planning a new push to legalize online sports betting in 2023 after a bill came close last year.
- December 30, 2022 – It was a mixed bag of results for North Carolina football teams during bowl season as NC State and North Carolina lost their bowl games but Duke, East Carolina, Wake Forest and NCCU all won.
- December 8, 2022 – The Catawba Two Kings Casino is facing hefty fines after a yearlong federal investigation determined the casino did not get approval for its management contract. The casino became the third retail sportsbook in the state in September.
The status of North Carolina sports betting
North Carolina is similar to many states in the American South in that it defaults to a rather cautious stance about gambling in most cases. There are no casinos outside of the three tribal locations. So although North Carolina authorities moved forward with retail sports betting, it was a mild surprise for gambling observers.
For a time, it seemed as though North Carolinians would be getting more opportunities for sports betting in the near future. SB 688 sailed through the North Carolina Senate, and reports suggested that the bill had the votes to pass in the House of Representatives, too. Unfortunately, disagreements over elements of the bill ultimately killed its chances for passage in the waning weeks of the 2022 legislative session. If lawmakers do want to make another attempt at mobile sports betting law, they will have to wait until 2023 to do so.
When will online sports betting launch in North Carolina?
No earlier than 2024. Because online sports betting met with legislative defeat in 2022, the timeframe for a launch is delayed considerably. Although it’s possible that lawmakers and regulators could get everything solved in 2023, the reality is that a debut in 2024 is probably the earliest North Carolina bettors could wager legally through their devices and laptops.
Although the estimate seems dire, it’s important to bear in mind the numerous hurdles that await any sports betting expansion in North Carolina. Legislation must pass both chambers of the legislature, and members in both the House and Senate can hold up the process for amendments or questions about the law at any time. The bill must also pass muster with Gov. Cooper, who can always veto the bill and send it back for a potential override.
Even if mobile sports betting becomes legal, there is still a monumental regulatory task at hand. The designated regulator must promulgate rules for the new industry and adjust to feedback it receives from stakeholders and members of the public. The bottom line is that passing any type of legislation is not a short-term process, so the 2022 defeat for sports betting is certainly a setback for the timeline.
Potential North Carolina sportsbook apps
The number of sportsbook apps that might be available in North Carolina in the future is quite uncertain. Without a law or bill to designate the number of permits or structure of the industry, it’s nearly impossible to say that any number of sportsbooks are bound for the Tar Heel State. However, based upon their previous activities in other states and/or their connections to North Carolina, here are the most likely candidates to appear whenever North Carolina permits mobile wagering:
- Caesars — Caesars Sportsbook is already active in North Carolina. Two of the state’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 very few sports betting states in which DraftKings is not part of the market.
- 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.
Recent North Carolina sports betting news
Online NC Sports Betting Bill Passes House After Failing Last Year
Online NC sports betting legislation took a giant leap forward Wednesday. The North Carolina House, which killed online sports betting legislation last year, voted in favor of HB 347, 64-45,…
North Carolina sports betting bills
A sports betting bill, HB 347, was filed in the North Carolina General Assembly by Rep. Jason Saine on March 13, 2022. The proposed bill would authorize 10 to 12 legal sportsbooks in the state.
HB 347 would require operators to pay a $1 million fee for a five-year license as well as a 14% tax. The legal sports betting companies in the state would also be allowed to deduct promotional credits from their taxable revenue through 2026.
Legal sports betting options in NC
The only legal sports betting options in North Carolina are the retail sportsbooks located at the three tribal casinos in the state. Two sportsbooks are operated by Caesars and are owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The third is owned and operated by the Catawba Nation itself.
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
Barring additional expansion, these are the only three locations that can host a sportsbook in the Tar Heel State. Mobile sports wagering would make sports betting possible throughout the state.
However, 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, NC and have made it to the Super Bowl a couple 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, owned by Michael Jordan, 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.
North Carolinians can bet on those teams, as well as any other Division I college team in and out of state, in North Carolina.
North Carolina and daily fantasy sports
Entering daily fantasy sports competitions is legal in North Carolina. The legislature did not pass specific legislation that regulates and taxes DFS but did not outlaw the contests either.
That means the popular games offered by DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel can be played within the state of North Carolina.
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.
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
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 opened 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 begins its journey 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.
North Carolina sports betting FAQ
Who would oversee online sports betting in North Carolina?
Probably 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 would require greater oversight. Fittingly, 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?
21. Visitors at North Carolina gambling locations must be 21 or older to play in the casino, and online sports bettors will have to verify that they are over the drinking age in order to place a bet and be inside state lines, too.
Will online sports betting be legal in NC?
It is not clear at the moment if or when online sports betting will be legal in North Carolina. The most recent effort to legalize online sports betting in NC failed in the North Carolina House of Representatives at the end of the 2022 session.
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 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 with regulated sites.