Is Sports Betting Legal in North Carolina?

North Carolina is a popular golf vacation destination. It's also home to some of the best college basketball in the country.

North Carolina, known for its picturesque golf courses and passionate college basketball fans, has seen significant changes in its stance on gambling in recent years. While the state still has no retail sportsbooks, and both horse and dog racing remain prohibited, the landscape of sports betting has undergone a major transformation.

In July 2019, Governor Roy Cooper signed S 154 into law, making North Carolina the 17th state to legalize sports betting, although initially limited to in-person wagering at two tribal casinos. However, a more significant change occurred in June 2023 with the enactment of HB 347, which expanded sports betting to include online and mobile wagering. The official launch of online sports betting in North Carolina took place on March 11, 2024, ushering in a new era for sports enthusiasts and bettors in the state.

As of March 11, 2024, North Carolina residents can legally place bets online through licensed sportsbooks, including popular platforms like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and bet365. The legalization of online sports betting has made it more convenient for bettors to wager on their favorite professional and college teams from anywhere within the state. That said, many North Carolina residents already enjoy betting online through top-ranked offshore sites like Bovada.

Betting Laws in North Carolina

More than 10 million people live in North Carolina, where the landscape ranges from Atlantic Ocean beaches to the Appalachian Mountains. Raleigh is the state capital and Charlotte is the largest city with a population of almost 900,000 residents.

North Carolina, whose motto is "First in Flight" to honor the Wright Brothers, is located in the southeastern United States. Its strict gambling laws are regulated at the state level.

  • Tribal casino gambling
  • Online and mobile sports betting (launched on March 2024)
  • Lottery (introduced in 2005)
  • Bingo
  • Social gambling
  • Charitable gambling

The minimum North Carolina gambling age is 21 years old for casino players, 18 years old for lottery players, and there is no minimum gambling age for bingo or raffles.


North Carolina has fought against any form of legalized gambling for a long time. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 opened the door for many states to build casinos on reservation land, but each tribe has to negotiate an agreement with their individual state governments.

North Carolina is home to three tribal casinos:

  • Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy, also operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, operated by the Catawba Nation (opened in July 2021)

These casinos offer a variety of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and poker rooms. They are open 24 hours a day, and the minimum gambling age is 21.

Horse and dog racing

Horse racing has always been outlawed in North Carolina, while greyhound racing had a brief run from 1948 to 1954.

The state had two greyhound tracks in Moyock and Morehead City, but the North Carolina Supreme Court shut both of them down amid allegations that special privileges were given to a private company. The state’s racing industry has been dormant ever since.


North Carolina was the very last state on the East Coast to legalize a lottery. They did so in 2005 — and only by the slimmest of voting margins as the issue divided lawmakers and the public alike. The first ticket didn’t sell until March 2006.

Today, the NC Education Lottery brings in almost $2 billion in revenue, with net proceeds going directly into the state's education fund. The lottery features scratch cards and many daily drawing games as well as multi-jurisdictional games such as Lucky for Life, Mega Millions and Powerball.

North Carolina Sports Betting Laws

Since the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on sports betting in May 2018, North Carolina lawmakers have been actively pursuing legislation to legalize sports wagering in the state.

In July 2019, Governor Roy Cooper signed S 154 into law, making North Carolina the 17th state to legalize sports betting. Initially, the law only allowed for in-person sports wagering at two tribal casinos operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

However, in June 2023, the state took a significant step forward with the enactment of HB 347, which expanded sports betting to include online and mobile wagering. The bill allowed for up to 12 online sportsbooks to operate in partnership with professional sports organizations in the state. The official launch of online sports betting in North Carolina took place on March 11, 2024, with eight licensed sportsbooks, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, and bet365, beginning operations.

David Tepper, the owner of the NFL's Carolina Panthers, had previously stated, "Eventually it's going to hit North and South Carolina. It has to, from a revenue standpoint." His prediction came to fruition with the legalization and launch of online sports betting in the state.

See below the top sportsbooks where you can wager online and choose the best one for you:

North Carolina's Favorite Sports Teams

North Carolina is not just about the four major professional sports or college football and basketball. This is NASCAR country. And Charlotte is home to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which opened its doors for visitors to see the legends of stock car racing in May 2010.

Charlotte is also the hometown of the NFL's Carolina Panthers and NBA's Charlotte Hornets. The Panthers have won two conference championships in 14 seasons, while the Hornets have never won a division title.

The NHL's Carolina Hurricanes, who have won one Stanley Cup (2005-06), are based in Raleigh.

College sports teams grab their fair share of headlines in this state, especially with two basketball powerhouses in Duke and North Carolina. The Blue Devils call Durham home, while the Tar Heels' main campus is located in Chapel Hill. There's no bigger rivalry in the NCAA than these two teams, who have won a combined 11 national basketball championships.

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Over time, NC gives in on gambling