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North Carolina Sports Betting

Historically, North Carolina has opposed gambling in all its forms, but that changed in 2005 when the state authorized the North Carolina Education Lottery. After legalizing the state lottery, North Carolina moved to authorize charitable gambling in the form of bingo and more traditional gambling via tribal casinos. However, the Old North State’s position on gambling doesn’t instil much confidence in efforts to expand the state’s gambling laws. In 2007, a statewide ban on video poker was implemented and in 2013 a ban on sweepstakes parlors came into effect. But what about sports betting, would the activity would be a welcome addition to the state’s small gambling market?. Let’s take a look at the likelihood of North Carolina legalizing sports betting.

Is it legal to bet on sports in North Carolina?

No, sports betting is currently illegal in the Old North State. The state has even outlawed wagering on horse racing and dog racing. The closest thing to legal sports betting in North Carolina is daily fantasy sports games offered by companies like DraftKings and FanDuel.

Despite the state’s stance on gambling expansion, North Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation that would legalize wagering on sporting events and horse racing at land-based tribal gambling venues. SB 154 was introduced in February 2019 and although it passed a vote in the Senate on 10 April 2019, the bill has since run out of steam and is lingering in the legislature. It looks like North Carolinians will have to wait until 2020 for another swing at legal sports betting.

Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in North Carolina?

If the bill is successful, which is unlikely at this point, wagers will only be permitted on tribal land. This means that you would have to visit a tribal gambling establishment to place a wager.

What sports will I be able to bet on?

The legislation being considered would authorize wagers on professional sports including major league events such as NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. The bill would also permit betting on collegiate events and horse racing.

What else can I bet on in North Carolina?

In the absence of sports betting there are very few legal gambling activities available to North Carolinians. Residents can try their luck with the North Carolina Education Lottery which offers several games such as Mega Millions, Powerball and Cash 5. Punters can also take part in charitable bingo and raffle games. In terms of land-based gambling options, bettors can choose between two tribal casinos located in the Old North State. At these venues, patrons can play a variety of games such as slots, poker, blackjack and craps

Casino Name Location Contact Email Opening times
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel 777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906, USA +1 828-422-7777 Online form 24 hours
Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719, USA +1 828-497-7777 Online form 24 hours

Are offshore gambling sites legal in North Carolina?

Offshore betting sites are not licensed or regulated and are therefore illegal in North Carolina. Aside from legality, offshore betting sites do not answer to any US regulatory bodies, which means they are not subject to the same regulatory standards as legal betting sites. On top of this, offshore sites are unlikely to have industry standard safety and security measures in place. These sites also have a history of using predatory and unethical marketing practices that put vulnerable bettors at risk.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name – domains ending in .EU or .AG aren’t licensed to operate in North Carolina.

Will it be safe to bet on sports in North Carolina?

If the Old North State legalizes sports betting, the activity is sure to be closely regulated, making it safe and enjoyable for everyone. The state has a history of being against gambling expansion, but when it has authorized new forms of gambling they have been closely regulated and monitored to ensure player safety. For instance, North Carolina only authorized the state lottery in 2005 and even then, the first ticket wasn’t sold until there were appropriate regulations in place in 2006.

With that being said, it is still up to punters to ensure they bet responsibly and never gamble more than they can afford to. If you feel that you are at risk of developing a gambling problem, there are several resources available to you. The National Council on Problem Gambling runs a helpline and online chat service where North Carolinians can speak to a trained counsellor if they are struggling with gambling habits. Residents can also reach out to the North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling, a body that aims to educate and provide support for those who suffer from a gambling problem.

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Call: 1-800-522-4700

Text: 1-800-522-4700

Live chat

You can contact the North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling via:

Call: 336-370-6952 / 336-681-8516

Email: [email protected]

Who regulates gambling in North Carolina?

The North Carolina Education Lottery is responsible for monitoring and regulating the state’s lottery and charitable gambling activities. The tribal casinos that serve the state’s residents are monitored by the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission, a regulatory body dedicated to overseeing tribal gambling in the state.

How old do I have to be to gamble in North Carolina?

The state lottery is only available to residents aged 18 and over, while tribal casino patrons must be at least 21 years of age.

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in North Carolina

1753 – Public gambling was banned, and a limit was set on the losses allowed for private gambling.

1784 – The state’s ban on public gambling was lifted and the activity was taxed.

1939 – North Carolina legalized greyhound racing.

1945 – Charity bingo games were authorized in Mecklenburg County.

1954 – Greyhound racing was banned.

1977 – The state authorized charity raffles.

1982 – The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened a bingo parlor on tribal land.

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states already had legal sports betting regulations in place.

1994 – The state of North Carolina entered a tribe-state compact with the Cherokee Tribe.

2000 – Restrictions were placed on video poker machines.

2005 – The state legislature approved the North Carolina Education Lottery.

2007 – Video poker machines were banned.

2012 – The Cherokee Tribe were allowed to offer table games

2013 – The state outlawed sweepstakes cafes on the grounds that they function as “illegal internet gambling.”

2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision on the legality of PASPA. In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered states’ power to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

2019 – In February 2019, lawmakers introduced SB 154, a bill that would legalize sports betting on tribal lands.

Lawmakers are still exploring the possibility of legalizing sports betting, so be sure to check back with for the latest legislative developments on US sports betting.

The people behind this page's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check the content on this page:

Jake is a gambling content specialist for, with a focus on the regulated US market. He is responsible for producing news content for News, state guides for US and has interviewed several senior executives within the gambling industry. Jake previously wrote for Gambling Insider and LGBT+ news site PinkNews.