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North Carolina Sports Betting Updates

Retail sports betting is legal in North Carolina and launched in March 2021. However, online sportsbooks are not legal in NC.

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North Carolina sports betting is legal at retail sportsbooks. However, online betting sites are yet to be legalized in NC. Sports fans can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in North Carolina on the sites listed above.

Contents

North Carolina Sports Betting Summary

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper legalized retail sports betting by signing SB 154 on July 26, 2019. The bill gave the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians oversight of in-person wagering, which started negotiations for a new gaming compact that included sports betting. The compact was agreed upon in December 2020. Currently, there are two retail sportsbooks in the state, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, with both having opened in March 2021. A third retail sportsbook is expected to launch at Catawba Two Kings Casino in fall 2022.

There have been attempts to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina, most recently in 2022. However, SB 688 didn’t pass the House, as representatives voted against the bill by 51-50. The bill wasn’t amended by the deadline of June 30, 2022, so online sports betting can’t be legalized until 2023.

Read our complete guide to sports betting in North Carolina for the latest news on legislation, the legal gambling requirements, and where to place sports wagers.

North Carolina Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting is not currently legal in North Carolina. The most recent attempt to legalize NC online betting, SB 688, cleared the Senate but didn’t make it through the House. The earliest a sports betting bill could pass is in 2023, putting the best-case scenario for online sportsbooks to launch in early 2024. DraftKings is the only sportsbook to show a strong interest in launching in North Carolina, sending an email to their Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) customers encouraging them to get in touch with local lawmakers and support online sports betting.

You can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in North Carolina with providers like ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, FanDuel, and DraftKings. In addition, you can visit neighboring Tennessee or Virginia to place legal online sports bets. Tennessee has nine online sportsbooks, while Virginia has 14. Major US operators such as BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are among the legal TN sportsbooks, while bettors in VA can use the likes of Hard Rock Sportsbook, PointsBet, and Unibet too.

How to Place a Bet in North Carolina

You can place a bet in one of two tribal casinos in North Carolina. We’ve created a step-by-step guide to prepare you for your first sportsbook visit:

  1. Research your bets before visiting a sportsbook. Making informed wagers is the best way to increase your chances of placing winning bets.

  2. Visit one of the two retail sportsbooks in North Carolina. Caesars operates both sportsbooks.

  3. Go to a betting window or betting kiosk and make your selections.

  4. Check your selection for the final time before you place your bet. There are no refunds once a bet is placed, so make sure everything is correct.

  5. Once you’ve placed your bet, you will receive a ticket. Keep this ticket safe, as you will use this to claim your payout if your selection wins.

  6. If your bet wins, head to the ticket window and hand in your ticket to claim your winnings.

Banking Methods Available in North Carolina

As North Carolina sports betting is limited to retail sportsbooks, you must make all your payments in person. Visa and Mastercard are the most popular payment methods, and PayNearMe cards are also accepted. You can top up these cards at retailers like CVS and Walmart. Caesars operates both retail sportsbooks in NC and lets you use Play+ cards for payments. You can also make cash payments directly at a sports betting window or kiosk.

Sportsbooks will likely accept deposits from e-wallets like PayPal when online sports betting is legalized. Online banking methods like online bank transfers and Automated Clearing House (ACH) will also be available.

Who is Eligible to Bet in NC?

You must be at least 21 years old to place sports bets in North Carolina. You must bring a valid photo ID to prove your age when you go to wager. In addition, any individual listed below is prohibited from sports betting:

  • Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports and college teams.

  • Referees for professional and college sports leagues.

  • Individuals with a stake in a sports team.

  • Individuals employed by the leagues that create rules for sports (e.g., NFL, NCAA).

  • Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.

  • Individuals with non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).

  • Individuals employed by organizations with licensing from the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission, including key staff, owners, directors, and officers.

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.

  • Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

Latest North Carolina Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in North Carolina

Retail sports betting in North Carolina was legalized when Gov. Cooper signed SB 154 in July 2019. The Cherokee Tribal Commission oversees all retail sportsbooks through a gaming compact agreed upon in 2020. Online sports betting is still not legal. As is the case in other legal betting states, you can bet on most major sports in North Carolina.

Timeline for Sports Betting in North Carolina

  • June 22, 2022: SB 688 fails to gain the necessary support to pass the House, losing the vote by 51-50. Representatives draft amendments to SB 38 to try and legalize online sports betting, as well as banning all college sports wagering. However, SB 38 fails to pass.

  • June 21, 2022: Changes are made to SB 688, including an increased tax rate from 8% to 14%, to try and get the bill over the line.

  • August 23, 2021: The North Carolina Senate approves SB 688. The bill moves to the House for consideration.

  • July 4, 2021: SB 688, an online sports betting bill, is introduced to the Senate by Senator Jim Perry.

  • March 18, 2021: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River open retail sportsbooks.

  • March 2, 2021: The Federal Register publishes the new compact with the Cherokee tribe after approval from the Department of the Interior.

  • February 17, 2021: SB 38 passes the Senate and moves to the House.

  • January 1, 2021: SB 38, a bill to legalize online sports betting, is introduced to the Senate.

  • December 3, 2020: After 18 months of negotiations, the state of North Carolina and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians agree to a new gaming compact.

  • July 26, 2019: Gov. Cooper signs SB 154. The state and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians start negotiating a new gaming compact that includes sports betting.

  • 15 July, 2019: SB 154 passes the House and is sent to the Governor.

  • 10 April, 2019: SB 154 passes the Senate and is sent to the House.

  • 27 February, 2019: SB 154, a bill to bring retail sports betting to tribal casinos, is introduced to the Senate.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Individual states can now legalize sports betting.

North Carolina Sports Betting Background

Historically, North Carolina had very reserved attitudes towards sports betting and gambling. The state only permitted its two tribal casinos to launch in 2015. Online horse racing betting is not available, and pari-mutuel horse racing wagers are only available at casinos. However, no casinos have offered pari-mutuel betting yet.

These attitudes meant it was a surprise when SB 154 passed easily, with the Senate supporting the bill 43-7 and the House 90-27. However, online sports betting has faced more opposition. In April 2022, a poll from Spectrum News suggested only 36% of NC voters support mobile betting. Two months later, SB 668 narrowly failed to pass the House and legalize mobile sports betting.

In a rush to finalize a bill before the legislative session ended on June 30, 2022, House Representatives tried to pass SB 38 instead. HB 38 included a ban on college sports wagering to appease concerns raised by Representative Abe Jones that sports betting may lead to exploitation of student athletes. However, SB 38 never gained enough support and the legislative window closed.

Future of North Carolina Sports Betting

With SB 688 failing to clear the House in June 2022, North Carolina will be without online sports betting until at least early 2024. While top operators are expected to launch in North Carolina when online sports betting is legal, only DraftKings has shown its interest in the state by encouraging its Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) players to support attempts to make wagering sites legal. A new retail sportsbook will open in NC in fall 2022 at the third tribal casino, Catawba Two Kings Casino. The casino is located in Kings Mountain, far closer to the state’s major cities than the other two retail sportsbooks, which are much further east.

North Carolina Sports Betting Locations

There are currently two tribal casinos in North Carolina providing legal retail sports betting. Both sportsbooks are operated by Caesars as the company has a partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. A third NC casino, Catawba Two Kings Casino, will open a sportsbook in fall 2022.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

The Caesars sportsbook in Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort opened on March 18, 2021. Set on the casino floor, you can place wagers at either ticket windows or kiosks. You can bet on major league sports, college football and basketball, golf, motorsports, and boxing. Enjoy all the action with a 90-foot game wall and multiple large-screen TVs. You can rent one of three Fan Caves if you are with a group. The Fan Caves are a private viewing area with an 85” HDTV, two 43” TVs, table service, and access to betting terminals.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River

The Caesars sportsbook at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River offers four betting windows and five self-service betting kiosks. There are several reclining seats available, centered around a 32-foot UHD screen. Any wagers you place contribute to the Caesars Rewards program, where you can redeem real-life prizes or free bets. Along with major US sports, you can also wager on niche sports like softball, rugby league, and rugby union. Full bar service is available, and you can rent a private viewing area if you want some time to enjoy the sports with friends and family. If you are hungry during the action, there are six food and drink options on-site, including Panda Express, Nathan’s Famous, and Starbucks.

North Carolina Lottery Locations

The North Carolina Education Lottery was launched in 2005 after then-Gov. Mike Easley signed the North Carolina State Lottery Act. You can buy lottery tickets from over 7,000 retail locations across the state. SB 688 of 2022 was the most recent failed attempt to legalize online sports betting in NC and named the North Carolina Education Lottery as the sports betting regulator. So, while betting may be available in the future at lottery locations, you can only wager at tribal casinos at the moment.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

SB 154 included legislation that allowed tribal casinos to offer off-track betting as well as sports betting. However, none of the casinos have so far decided to offer horse racing betting. There are no off-track betting (OTB) locations in NC.

There are 17 sports stadiums and arenas in North Carolina with a capacity of over 20,000. Despite this, there are currently no plans for sportsbooks to be made available at stadium locations across the state.

North Carolina Responsible Gambling Resources

  • North Carolina National Council on Problem Gambling – Offers access to problem gambling resources from across the state. It provides national resources, including a live chat and helpline. (800) 522-4700

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings across North Carolina where problem gamblers can go and share their experiences. It also provides a treatment program. (919) 460-9039

When the state signed the gaming compact with the Cherokee Tribe, it handed all regulatory power over retail sportsbooks over to the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission. The commission works with Caesars to provide a variety of safety measures, including self-exclusion from all retail sportsbooks. In addition, Caesars is committed to training staff to deal with problem gambling and offers initiatives like the “Unattended Children Policy.” This includes a communication policy and staff training with standard procedures for lost children. You can also impose self-restrictions, including limiting promotional material related to gambling.

Teams to Bet on in North Carolina

  • Pro Sports

Carolina Panthers: The Panthers play in the NFL's NFC South Division. After spending their first year playing home games in Clemson, South Carolina, they moved to Charlotte in 1996. The team has made two Super Bowl appearances and were defeated by the Tom Brady-led New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII. This would be followed by their second appearance in the Super Bowl 12 years later, this time going down to Peyton Manning’s Denver Broncos.

Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets joined the NBA as an expansion franchise in 1988 and have never won a title of any sort in their 34-year history. While the team has made the playoffs ten times in total, the Hornets have never won a best-of-seven series. Things have been looking up since they drafted LaMelo Ball with the third overall pick in November 2020.

Carolina Hurricanes: The Hurricanes compete in the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference of the NHL and play their games in the PNC Arena in Raleigh. As of 2022, they are the only major league team from North Carolina to win a National Championship by beating the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup in 2006.

  • College Sports

Appalachian State Mountaineers: Appalachian State University boasts 17 varsity teams competing in the Sun Belt Conference. The Mountaineers have a rich football history and are the only team from North Carolina to win an NCAA Football National Championship.

Campbell Fighting Camels: Representing Campbell University, the Fighting Camels have 19 varsity teams competing in the Big South Conference. The Camels have a strong baseball pedigree, reaching the NCAA Tournament in 2018, 2019, 2021, and 2022. They play games at the Jim Perry stadium, named after the former Camels pitcher and 1970 AL Cy Young Award winner.

Charlotte 49ers: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is represented by the 49ers in the Conference USA. The 49ers have seen baseball success recently, with an NCAA tournament appearance in 2021. They have also developed 46 baseball players who would go on to play in MLB. Chris Hanley was drafted 64th in the 2020 MLB draft, the highest draft position of any 49ers players.

Davidson Wildcats: Davidson College’s Wildcats compete in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Wildcats boast one of the NBA’s all-time greats as an alumnus, with Steph Curry playing point guard for the team between 2006-09. In 2008, Curry gained national acclaim for leading the Wildcats to the Elite Eight, narrowly losing to the No. 1 seed Kansas Jayhawks. Golden State Warriors star Curry remains the all-time leading scorer for the Wildcats.

Duke Blue Devils: Duke University’s Blue Devils have won 17 NCAA National Championships, putting the school in the top 40 for most national championships. Women’s golf is the most successful program with seven titles, followed by men’s basketball with five. The end of the 2021-22 season marked the end of an era for the Blue Devils basketball team. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, known as Coach K, retired after 42 seasons in charge of Duke and was replaced by Jon Scheyer.

East Carolina Pirates: East Carolina University is represented in 16 varsity sports by the Pirates, competing in the American Conference. Playing games in purple and gold, the Pirates are cheered on by their mascot PeeDee the Pirate.

Elon Phoenix: The Elon University Phoenix competes in the Colonial Athletic Association. The women’s basketball team reached the NCAA Tournament in 2017 and 2018 before first-round eliminations.

Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs: Gardner-Webb University is represented by 11 men’s and 11 women’s teams. Competing in the Big South Conference, the Bulldogs won their first basketball conference title in 2019, making the NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time in the school's history.

High Point Panthers: The High Point University Panthers compete in the Big South Conference and experienced success in the 2010s with women’s soccer. They won the Big South Conference five times in the decade and made the postseason three times.

NC State Wolfpack: As a founding member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the North Carolina State University Wolfpack has won three National Team Championships. The team has a fierce rivalry with the North Carolina Tar Heels.

North Carolina A&T Aggies: The Aggies represent North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in the Colonial Athletic Association. Their sole National Championship came in bowling in 2015. The Aggies are represented by their mascots, Aggie and Aggietha, a pair of bulldogs.

North Carolina Central Eagles: North Carolina Central University plays host to 14 varsity teams in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference. The Eagles play their home basketball games in the McDougald-McLendon Arena, while football games are played at the 10,000-seater O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.

North Carolina Tar Heels: Having won 47 National Team Championships and 52 National Individual Championships, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels is one of the most successful programs in the US. While most famous for their basketball program, the Tar Heels have also dominated in women’s soccer, winning 22 National Championships out of a possible 40. Among scores of famous alumni, one name stands out above the rest. From 1981 to 1984, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan starred as a shooting guard for the Tar Heels.

Queens Royals: The Queens University of Charlotte started a four-year transition from a Division II to Division I school in July 2022. The Royals have joined the ASUN Conference and will be represented by 28 varsity teams.

UNC Asheville Bulldogs: The Bulldogs are the pride of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Competing in the Big South Conference, the Bulldogs play in Royal Blue and White, and their mascot is Rocky the Bulldog.

UNC Greensboro Spartans: Playing games in the Southern Conference, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Spartans have been involved in intercollegiate sports since 1948. A section of fans known as the Blue Crew creates a hostile environment for away teams wearing yellow and blue shirts.

UNC Wilmington Seahawks: The University of North Carolina at Wilmington are represented by the Seahawks in the Colonial Athletic Association. They are best known for their baseball team that has made the NCAA tournament ten times since 2003 and has had over 75 players drafted to MLB, including 1991 World Series champion Carl Willis.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons: The Wake Forest University Demon Deacons have made waves in collegiate sport, winning five National Championships since 2002. Despite only making the basketball final four once, they have a host of famous basketball alumni like Muggsy Bogues, Chris Paul, and Tim Duncan.

Western Carolina Catamounts: The Catamounts represent Western Carolina University and compete in the Southern Conference. The Catamounts have a long history of success in baseball, with 12 postseason appearances and 23 Southern Conference Championships.

  • Women's Sports

North Carolina Courage: Founded in 2017 after the acquisition and relocation of the Western New York Flash, the Courage competes in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). In 2018, the Courage had the most successful NWSL season ever, winning both the Championship and the Shield.

How Does North Carolina Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

Caesars runs the two sportsbooks in the state. As a sports betting industry giant, Caesars offers a wide range of markets for professional sports. These include betting lines on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, golf, soccer, and tennis. There are also niche sports markets available, like softball and MMA. College sports betting is available, but only for football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. Other states like Arkansas permit college betting on sports like lacrosse. However, North Carolina sportsbooks accept prop bets on college players, which is much less restrictive than states like Colorado, which restrict these types of wagers.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

Caesars’ sportsbook is available across the US in 17 states and offers the same betting odds in each state. Some of these states have more than a dozen betting sites, and Caesars has to offer generous odds to stand out from the competition. Caesars is well known for its generous odds on NFL games as the operator is an official betting partner of the league. That includes games featuring the Carolina Panthers, so NC bettors can make the most of them.

  • Gambling Revenue

North Carolina sportsbooks do not pay tax to the state on gross gaming revenue. Tribal authorities handle all payments to the state under the terms of the compact. As such, revenues are not declared publicly as in many other states.

North Carolina is comparable to Michigan, with both states having a population of just over 10 million. In addition, NC has three major league teams, and Michigan has four. Both states also have massive support for college sports teams. Michigan has brought in $16,677,788 in taxes from sportsbook revenue of $512,506,425 as of June 2022. Michigan’s tax rate is 8.4%. If North Carolina introduces a similar tax rate, we could see the state bring in numbers around this mark.

  • Betting Taxes

North Carolina sports bettors have to pay tax on sports betting winnings, and sports betting winnings must be declared to the IRS. For gambling winnings over $600, you must complete a W-2G form. Sportsbooks can withhold up to 25% of winnings for tax purposes. You must also include your betting winnings in your income tax, and North Carolina also has a flat rate state income tax of 5.25%.

Sportsbooks must also pay a 0.25% excise tax on betting handles following the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, operators need to pay $50 for every employee involved in taking wagers.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in North Carolina?

The Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission oversees retail sports betting in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians signed a gaming compact with the state to enforce the regulations legalized by SB 154. This includes ensuring each sportsbook is safe for players and fair. It’s predicted that if online sports betting was legalized, the state would need to select a larger regulatory body. In the failed SB 668 bill, the North Carolina Education Lottery was named as a regulator.

FAQs

Is betting legal in North Carolina?

Yes, betting is legal at two tribal casinos in western North Carolina. Online sports betting is not legal in NC.

Who governs sports betting in North Carolina?

The Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission oversees retail sports betting in North Carolina. NC lawmakers will choose a new regulatory body if online sports betting is legalized. The most likely candidate is the North Carolina Education Lottery.

How old do you have to be to bet in North Carolina?

You must be at least 21 years old to place legal bets in North Carolina. Retail sportsbooks will ask you to provide a photo ID to verify your age.

When did sports betting launch in North Carolina?

The first retail sportsbooks in North Carolina launched on March 18, 2021 at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. Online sports betting is not yet legal and hasn’t been launched in NC.

Where can I bet on sports in North Carolina?

You can place sports bets in North Carolina at two retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River.

Are sportsbooks in North Carolina safe?

Yes, both retail sportsbooks in North Carolina are safe. Both sportsbooks are overseen by the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission, which operates to the safety standards set out in the gaming compacts agreed with the state.

Do I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in North Carolina?

Yes, taxes are payable on sports betting winnings in North Carolina. You must declare all gambling winnings to the IRS and complete a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Betting winnings are also included in state income tax, which is 5.25%.

Can you play DraftKings in North Carolina?

DraftKings sportsbook is not available in North Carolina as online sports betting is yet to launch in the state. However, you can play DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games in NC.

Can you play FanDuel in North Carolina?

No, you can’t bet with FanDuel in North Carolina. However, you can use FanDuel’s Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) platform in NC to create teams for every major league sport.

Can you play BetMGM in North Carolina?

No, BetMGM is not available in North Carolina. You can visit neighboring Tennessee or Virginia to place bets with BetMGM.

Can you play Caesars in North Carolina?

Caesars operates two retail sportsbooks at tribal casinos in North Carolina. However, their site is not available as online betting is illegal in NC.

Can you play TwinSpires in North Carolina?

TwinSpires sportsbook is unavailable in North Carolina. However, NC bettors are not missing out as TwinSpires is shutting down its online sportsbook.

Which sportsbooks will be available in North Carolina in the future?

A new Caesars sportsbook will open at the Catawba Two Kings Casino in North Carolina in fall 2022. If online sports betting in NC is legalized, it’s widely expected top operators like Caesars, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and PointsBet will launch.