North Carolina Online Sports Betting

✅Fact Checked by: Michael Savio

New York

North Carolina went from being one of the least gambling-friendly states to legalize sports betting in June 2023. After years of debate among North Carolina state legislatures, Governor Ray Cooper signed House Bill 347 to open the door for legal online and retail sports betting. 

The most significant driving force for the industry's legalization was the amount of revenue the Tar Heel State was losing out on. Residents were crossing over to neighboring states that allow sports betting, leading to millions in potential revenue pouring across state lines.

HB 347 allows for both retail and online sportsbooks to begin operating inside the state, with the revenue to be spent on their school systems and problem gambling resources. The law also legalizes wagering on horse racing within the state.

Up to 12 online sportsbooks will be allowed, and the tax rate for them will be 18%. The launch date is expected to come in January 2024.

Latest Update:

North Carolina sports betting bill (HB 347) was approved by House Finance Committee and House Judiciary 1 Committee, if approved in the Rules, Calendar and Operations of the House it will move to the House Floor.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

North Carolina offers its visitors and residents a single Tribal Casino industry, DFS competitions, live poker and charitable gambling.

Sports & Gambling TypeLegal Land-BasedLegal Online
Sports BettingYesYes
Fantasy Sports (DFS)N/AYes
Horse RacingYesYes
Charitable GamblingYesNo

North Carolina Sports Betting Tax Rates

North Carolina applies a 4.75% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large gambling wins over $600 in the state of North Carolina may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax. Online sportsbooks will often send you a tax form when your winnings surpass that amount.

Contact your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in North Carolina.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in North Carolina

No Age Limit applies to North Carolina’s charitable gaming, whilst at the upper end of the spectrum, the state’s lone casino applies require players to be at least 21-years-old. All other forms of legal gaming apply an age limit of 18.

Gambling Type Age
Sports Betting21
Horse Racing21
Charitable GamblingNo Age Limit

Betting on Sports in North Carolina

In July 2019 Governor Ray cooper signed SB 154 into law. The sports betting bill was quite limited in its application as it allowed for limited sports and horse racing betting, but it was only permitted at two tribal casinos.

In May 2021, Senators Jim Perry and Paul Lowe opened online sports betting legalization bill SB 688 seeking to overcome North Carolina’s hardline approach to wagering on sports online. There was also an effort in 2022 to legalize online gambling in the state, but it failed to receive a vote in the state House after passing the Senate.

In March 2023, North Carolina sports betting bill (HB 347) was approved by House Finance Committee and House Judiciary 1 Committee, after being approved in the Rules, Calendar, and Operations of the House it was moved to the House Floor.

North Carolina officially legalized online and additional retail sports betting in June 2023. House Bill 347 allows for mobile and retail sports betting, wagering on horse racing, and betting using cryptocurrencies as a cash equivalentThe law allows for up to 12 online sportsbooks and sets a tax rate of 18% on their net winnings. The law also allows for pari-mutuel betting on horse racing.

North Carolina Online Sports Betting Laws

With HB 347 now signed into law, online sports betting is set to launch in the Tar Heel State in 2024. While we don't know which online sportsbooks will be available, we do know that the law will allow for up to 12 licenses. Each license will include a fee of $1 million for five years, and operators will have their revenue taxed at 18%. All taxes from sports betting will be used to support problem gambling efforts and the state's public school systems.

One difference between North Carolina and other states with legalized sports betting is that they will not allow operators to deduct promotional credit from their revenue. This has enabled online sportsbooks to pocket more money instead of sending it to the state. This will lead to more tax revenue for the state without driving off the industry's top operators.

The law also allows pari-mutuel horse betting in the state, which will have separate licenses. Rules around betting on horse racing will be set by North Carolina State Lottery Commission, which will also be regulating the state's sports betting industry.

Online Fantasy Sports in North Carolina

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions have been ruled by federal lawmakers in the United States not to be considered a form of gambling. Federal courts have determined DFS are skills-based games, not games of chance. As a result, under U.S. federal law, states have been encouraged to declare their own individual positions on the legality of DFS competitions.

Lawmakers in North Carolina had long been non-committal on applying DFS legalization laws in the state until 2017. At that time, Republican lawmakers introduced Bill HB 279 with a series of regulations attached to create a legal framework of DFS competition administration. The bill was ultimately defeated, however, and there has not been a new piece of legislation that has come close to receiving a vote.

Meanwhile, all major DFS sites accept customers from North Carolina, and players resident in or visiting North Carolina can sign-up and play DFS competitions for real money without any form of legal impediment

eSports Online Betting Laws

HB 347 also legalizes betting on eSports, which has become popular among sports bettors. While that doesn't mean online sportsbooks will immediately offer it as an option, many expect it to enter the North Carolina sports betting industry within the next two years. Rivalry, a popular eSports betting operator, has been closely following the North Carolina bill and will likely be one of the first sites to go live

What are eSports?

“What are eSports?” you ask.

‘eSports’ is video game play at the highest professional levels. Usually, played in team format (rather than individually), eSports is arguably the fastest-growing betting phenomenon in the world today. Software game development companies of all the major electronic multi-player games (Starcraft II, Dota 2, Fortnite, Overwatch, and many others) have all launched their own pro leagues, and eSports competitions have been transformed into global betting events with the advent of live streaming technology. Developed sports betting markets around the world offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments.

Watch for our updates on the legalization of sports betting in North Carolina to take part in legal eSports betting opportunities in the state.

Horse Racing in North Carolina

Horse racing has always been outlawed in North Carolina and greyhound racing had a brief dalliance as a legal gambling activity from 1939-1954. That officially ended when the state legalized HB347, which will allow betting on horse racing for the first time in over 60 years.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission will set forward rules around the new betting market, meaning we don't know what it will look like quite yet.

Trackside Betting

There are no legal horse or greyhound racing tracks in North Carolina.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in North Carolina

Pari-mutuel off-track betting is now legal, which gives bettors an option since the state has no active tracks to visit within state borders. While more options could be coming, bettors currently must visit Harrah’s Cherokee Resort to get in on the action.

Online Horse Racing in North Carolina

Online horse racing betting is now legal in North Carolina thanks to the passage of HB347.

For information on the state’s online casino, poker, and racing laws visit our NC Gambling page