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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 as state regulators prepare for launch on March 11, 2024. Pre-registration for sports betting apps begins March 1.

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, the temporary Catawba Two Kings Casino, is open in Kings Mountain, west of Charlotte.

What’s happening in North Carolina sports betting right now

NC sports betting snapshot

LSR projections estimate North Carolina sports betting could take $7 billion in bets in the first year of legal betting, potentially generating $600 million in revenue. Those figures could make the state a top-five betting market in the US. Below, we outline some more key NC sports betting information in a snapshot of the industry.

Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?Yes. However, online sports betting is not available yet. NC sports betting legislation was signed into law on June 14, 2023, and the state will launch online betting at noon on March 11, 2024. In-person sports betting was legalized in 2019.
What legal sports betting sites are live in North Carolina?None, yet. Apps such as Fanatics, FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, Bet365, and BetMGM could launch as soon as March 11.
What sports are legal to bet on in North Carolina?Bettors can wager on pro leagues as well as college sports. High school sports are not legal to wager on.
Who can bet on sports in North Carolina?You must be 21 or older to place bets in North Carolina.

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Comparing top North Carolina sports betting sites

NC sports betting rules allow up to 11 online sportsbooks, and picking one can be tricky. Choosing the best sportsbook for you may come down to personal preferences, but we hope to make that choice a little easier by comparing the top sports betting apps soon to be live in North Carolina.

Caesars North Carolina

The Caesars Sportsbook app is a top option for bettors nationwide, headlined by one of the best rewards programs on the market: Caesars Rewards. The Caesars app may not be as flashy as some competitors, but its menu of sports betting options, easy navigation, and ongoing promotions make it as solid an option as you will find.

Caesars Sportsbook is already available at two retail locations in North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel and Casino, and applied for a sportsbook service provider license rather than an operator license. Still, Caesars will go live statewide through its partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which did apply for an online sports betting license.

FanDuel North Carolina

The FanDuel app has some of the best odds among legal sportsbooks and boasts a user-friendly experience that new and veteran bettors can enjoy. The same-game parlay feature is particularly popular among FanDuel users, and the app is known for quick and easy payouts. The FanDuel app’s interface is a little plain compared to a few other options, but this app has everything most bettors could want.

Already a nationwide titan in the sports betting space, FanDuel Sportsbook will enter the North Carolina market through a deal with the PGA Tour. 

BetMGM North Carolina

The BetMGM Sportsbook app has as deep a menu of available betting markets as you will find, combined with some interesting features and top ratings from consumers. The Edit My Bet function is particularly popular among users, allowing bettors to add or subtract legs to a bet they have already placed. The app may be as flashy as some competitors and can be clunky to navigate, but it is still among the top options for bettors.

BetMGM is partnered with the Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

Bet365 North Carolina

The Bet365 app is user-friendly, and reviews often mention high-quality customer service and quick payouts. The app can be buggy at times but is generally easy to navigate and regularly offers new bonuses for new and existing users. The personalized display feature is a favorite among users, and daily bet boosts provide plenty of opportunities for value bets.

Bet365 was the first sportsbook to strike a deal with an NC sports organization, reaching a deal with the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets in November 2023. 

DraftKings North Carolina

The DraftKings app is sleek and more aesthetically pleasing than some competitors, but innovative features like betting pools make this app stand out. Pools allow bettors to compete against their friends in small tournament-like contests.

Live betting is also a calling-card feature of the DraftKings app, as are the promos and bonuses for new users. Promo offerings for existing users could be improved. 

A top option for bettors, DraftKings Sportsbook gained access to the North Carolina sports betting market through a deal with NASCAR.

Fanatics Sportsbook North Carolina

The sportsbook is still working through some bugs with app usage and the betting experience, but users note that customer service is quick to respond. There are also plenty of interesting features to take advantage of, such as a “Discover” page curated to your tastes and FanCash – funds you earn as you bet that can be redeemed for bonus bets or discounts on merchandise at Fanatics.com.

The Fanatics Sportsbook app is quickly expanding nationwide since launching its beta version in May 2023. The retail giant’s sportsbook entered the North Carolina market through a deal with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

How to bet on sports in North Carolina

Once online sports betting is available in North Carolina and you select which NC sportsbook you want to try, getting started on the app will be straightforward. The steps will be similar no matter which app you choose, and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Here’s what to do:

  1. Download and install the app on your mobile device.
  2. Register for an account using a promo code if needed.
  3. Make a deposit into your account.
  4. Place your first wager.

Complete list of North Carolina sports betting apps

The latest rules for NC sports betting allow for up to 11 online sportsbooks in North Carolina – one for each professional sports organization in the state. As of February 2024, seven online sportsbooks and two tribes have applied for licenses in the state, and some have already signed deals with sports organizations. Eighteen operators reportedly requested applications. Below is a list of potential North Carolina sports betting apps likely to begin offering the best sports betting promotions when online wagering goes live:

Land-based North Carolina sportsbooks

Additionally, three in-person sportsbooks are available for North Carolina bettors. Two sportsbooks are operated by Caesars and owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Catawba Nation owns and operates the third.

CasinoSportsbookAddressHours of Operation
Catawba Two Kings Casino (temporary location)Catawba Two Kings Sportsbook538 Kings Mountain Blvd., Kings Mountain, NC 28086Open 24 hours
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino ResortCaesars Sportsbooks at Harrah’s Cherokee777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, NC 28719Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday: 10 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday: 9 a.m.-1 a.m., Sunday: 9 a.m.-12 a.m.
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & HotelCaesars Sportsbook777 Casino Parkway, Murphy, NC 28906Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m.-12 a.m., Friday: 10 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturday: 9 a.m.-1 a.m., Sunday: 9 a.m.-12 a.m.

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:

What you can bet on in North Carolina

North Carolina is not an overly restrictive state when it comes to sports betting. According to HB 347, bettors can wager on professional, college, and amateur sports and horse races. That includes in-state college teams such as the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils. Events such as the Olympics are also eligible for betting, as are esports.  

The North Carolina betting catalog also includes many other professional sports that are less popular in North America, such as darts, lacrosse, sailing, Australian rules football, cricket, and softball. 

NC sports betting restrictions

North Carolina bettors shouldn’t have any problem betting on pretty much any pro sports league globally, but they cannot bet on high school sports. The state also prohibits betting on politics and awards shows like the Oscars.

Other legal betting options in North Carolina

Once online sports betting launches, there will be plenty of legal betting options in North Carolina. However, you may also encounter other sports betting sites that may be operating illegally in the state. 

Offshore sites like BetOnline, BetUS, and MyBookie are not licensed in the United States and are operating outside the confines of US and state laws. These sites carry a variety of legal and logistical concerns that make using them dangerous for your money. For instance, if any of these sportsbooks were to decide not to pay out your winnings, you would have no legal recourse.

Instead, we recommend that you sign up at legal, regulated sports betting apps like the ones we have reviewed above. 

There are also other legal gambling options available in North Carolina.

North Carolina and daily fantasy sports

DFS contests are legal in North Carolina. Lawmakers did attempt to ban DFS pick’em contests in the state as part of their sports betting legislation, but backlash from stakeholders caused them to kick the issue down the road and remove the ban. 

That means, for now, that contests from DFS providers like PrizePicks, Underdog, DraftKings, and FanDuel are available to play in the state of North Carolina.

Horse betting in North Carolina

Pari-mutuel horse betting is legal in North Carolina and available at retail locations.

Advance deposit wagering will become legal in the state on March 11, 2024, the same day as online sports betting.

North Carolina casinos

North Carolina’s three casinos offer a standard selection of casino games in addition to their sportsbooks. Electronic and live poker games, blackjack, roulette, craps, and slots are all available at both Harrah’s casinos, while the temporary Catawba Two Kings Casino has electronic table games and slots. 

North Carolina lottery 

The NC Education Lottery has several games available to residents both online and at retail locations. Powerball, Mega Millions, Lucky for Life, keno, and scratchers are just a few of the available options.

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 the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets are local favorites. The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006, while the Hornets continue to struggle for success.

But the Hornets aren’t the most popular basketball team in the state, as college basketball is king in North Carolina. The University of North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils compete in the Division I Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and have passionately loyal fanbases that have experienced plenty of March Madness success, including several titles. North Carolina won the men’s D1 championship in 2017, 2009, 2005, 1993, 1982 and 1957. Duke won in 2015, 2010, 2001, 1992 and 1991.

Aside from those two popular college teams, North Carolina is home to two other ACC teams, the NC State Wolfpack and Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

People in North Carolina can bet on those teams and any other Division I college teams in and out of state.

North Carolina sports betting timeline

2024: On January 24, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission announces March 11, 2024 as the launch date for legal online sports betting. The launch will take place one day before the start of the ACC men’s basketball tournament and one week before the start of March Madness.

2023: After a long back-and-forth between the House and Senate, sports betting bill HB 347 passes, and Gov. Roy Cooper signs it into law on June 14, 2023.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission approved a second set of sports betting rules in December as the industry continued to inch toward a launch date.

Seven online sports betting companies applied for licenses in the state and began partnering with pro sports organizations in North Carolina. The initial seven were: Bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Underdog Sports.

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.

NC responsible gambling

There are many resources in place for North Carolina bettors who suffer from problem gambling. The North Carolina State Lottery Commission website provides services related to education, prevention, treatment, and recovery from problem gambling.

Visit the commission’s website or call 877-718-5543, 24 hours a day.

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 scheduled to launch on March 11, 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 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 North Carolina’s and US law’s jurisdiction. Without the law, you do not have the same protections that you have at regulated sites.

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