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North Carolina Sports Betting: Online Launch And 2023 Legal Updates

Updated: May 2, 2023 | Author: Mitchell South

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Legal sports betting has officially launched in North Carolina.  A partnership between Caesars Sportsbook and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians launched two retail sportsbooks on March 18, 2021 at the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel. Under existing legislation, only in-person sports betting at specified tribal casinos is allowed in North Carolina.

While there has been no official date announced for the launch of online sports betting in North Carolina, online sportsbooks such as DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are expected to begin arriving in the Tar Heel State sometime in January 2024 if all goes according to plan—perhaps even in time for Super Bowl LVIII.

Read on to find out more about the state of online sports wagering in North Carolina, including legalization updates and launch date information.

When Will Online Sports Betting Be Legal in North Carolina?

Sports bettors rejoice: NC sports betting will be going online in the very near future. The general consensus is that the start of online betting for sports in North Carolina will go down on January 8, 2024.

Rep. Jason Saine’s online sports betting bill HB 347 was officially passed in March 2023, which now opens the door for an early 2024 online sports betting launch date in the state. The bill now passes into North Carolina Senate and, if approved, will allow for the arrival of online sports wagering statewide.

North Carolina Sports Betting Overview

While retail sports betting is now legal in North Carolina, online sports betting in the state is still waiting for approval. Let’s take a quick peek at the state of sports betting in North Carolina right now.

  • Sports Betting Legalization: Legalized (Retail), Pending (Online)
  • Expected Launch Date: Active (Retail), January 2024 (Online)
  • Platforms: Retail and online
  • Expected Sportsbooks: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook
  • North Carolina Legal Gambling Age Requirement: 21+

The North Carolina professional sports scene is a robust one with teams like the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, and the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes all playing in the state in cities like Charlotte and Raleigh. On top of that, there’s also a great in-state college sports fanbase as well for teams like the North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils.

North Carolina Online Sports Betting News

Online sports betting could soon be a reality in the Tar Heel State. Here are all the latest updates:

  • March 29, 2023: The North Carolina House of Representatives has officially passed Rep. Jason Saine’s online sports betting bill HB 347 on a third and final reading. The North Carolina online sports betting bill now moves to the Senate, a step that was completed last year before failing in the house. It is widely expected that North Carolina online sports betting will be legalized for a  potential January 8, 2024 go-live date.
  • March 13, 2023: A new North Carolina online sports betting bill has been filed, as Rep. Jason Saine introduced bill HB 347 in the North Carolina House of Representatives. This new NC online sports betting bill would allow for up to 12 mobile sportsbook operators, with five-year licenses priced at $1 million each and a 14% tax rate. If approved, North Carolina online sports betting would be eligible for a Jan. 1, 2024 launch date.
  • February 21, 2023: After failing to legalize online sports betting in 2022, North Carolina lawmakers will introduce new legislation to legalize mobile wagering in the Tar Heel State. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) believes this new online sports betting bill has a better chance of passing in 2023, with bi-partisan support behind legalizing North Carolina sports betting apps.
  • June 22, 2022: Both North Carolina online sports betting bills cleared the House Finance and House Rules committee and will now be heard on the House floor. SB 688 has already been approved by the Senate, and if it’s approved by the House, it would be sent to Gov. Roy Cooper for a final signature. If either sports betting bill as approved, North Carolina online sports betting would launch no sooner than January 1, 2023.
  • June 21, 2022: Two North Carolina online sports betting bills, SB 688 and SB 38, were approved by a House Judiciary committee. The two pieces of legislation now move to the House Finance and House Rules committee before a potential hearing on the House floor.

The History Behind North Carolina Sports Betting

Governor Roy Cooper signed NC SB 154 to allow for legal sports betting on July 16, 2019.

It took nearly two years for sportsbooks to launch at two tribal casinos operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in the Appalachian Mountains. Unfortunately, the location of these casinos does make for a rather long road trip for North Carolinians on the eastern side of the state. The Catawba Nation tribe is also expected to open a future casino that could offer sports betting in the Kings Mountain area.

While it was a big move for the traditionally conservative state to legalize sports betting, no forms of online or mobile sports betting have been approved so far. If North Carolina residents wish to place a sports bet, they must be physically inside one of the state’s tribal casinos.

The good news for fans of North Carolina’s very successful college teams is that betting is allowed on local college teams. This is not the case in some other states which have legalized sports betting. North Carolina actually has more Division 1 NCAA teams than any state outside of Texas and California.

NC SB 154 was quickly passed through the Senate and House in the spring of 2019 and was signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper soon after in July.

Before this progressive move, North Carolina was not friendly to gambling of any kind. They were one of the last states to introduce a state lottery in 2005. Even up until 2012, the government was only allowing slots and electronic poker at tribal casinos. Things like dog and horse racing, which have been longtime staples in other states, were illegal in North Carolina. Daily fantasy sites are legal in North Carolina as they are classified as games of skill.

The need to increase revenue in North Carolina has led to more table games being allowed, the approval for additional tribal casinos to be built, and most recently legalized sports betting and horse racing at tribal casinos.

What Sports Betting Apps Will Launch in North Carolina?

As a state with plenty of exciting sports betting options, it should come as no surprise that there is expected to be a healthy number of sports betting apps in North Carolina. That includes sports gambling favorites such as DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars all potentially arriving in early 2024.

DraftKings North Carolina

You can’t saying sports betting without DraftKings. As one of the most well-established and trusted sportsbooks in the industry, DraftKings North Carolina is sure to be a hit among sports bettors in the Tar Heel State. Their beautiful mobile app and site are easy to navigate and give you tons of betting options on a wide variety of sports from ice hockey to college football.

FanDuel North Carolina

Not to be outdone by their DraftKings rivals, FanDuel North Carolina will easily fall into the category of top sportsbooks in the state as well. They have fantastic betting options and a clean app and site that will make your betting experience an enjoyable one whether you’re betting on the Panthers or the Hurricanes.

BetMGM North Carolina

With a name that is so engrained in gambling culture across the United States, BetMGM North Carolina is going to be another major player on the state’s sport betting scene. Equipped with awesome betting options and a stellar app, there’s a reason why many sports bettors use BetMGM as their sportsbook of choice.

Where to Bet on Sports in North Carolina

Retail sports betting is currently limited to two tribal casinos operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Both branded under the Harrah’s name, the Cherokee casinos feature full-service sportsbook lounges operated by the powerhouse Caesars Sportsbook.

Here’s where you can legally bet on sports in North Carolina:

Casino/Racetrack Sportsbook Address Hours*
Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino The Book 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719 24/7
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel The Book 777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906 24/7

North Carolina Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?

Yes, retail sports betting is currently legal in North Carolina. North Carolina was the seventh state to legalize sports betting in July 2019.

Is online gambling legal in North Carolina?

No. Sports betting in North Carolina is only allowed within the state's tribal casinos. North Carolinians who want to bet online will have to head to Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia online sports betting for the time being.

What is the legal age to place sports bets in North Carolina?

You must be 21 to bet on sports legally.

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