Gambling in North Carolina

North Carolina

Legal gambling in North Carolina doesn’t have a lot of competition, in particular with anti-gambling South Carolina directly bordering the state.

Gambling options in North Carolina are relatively sparse too, with Tribal Casinos (including land-based sports betting), a state lottery, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) operates without-hindrance and charitable gaming is legal in the Tar Heel State.

Video poker suffered a setback in North Carolina in 2007 when a state-wide-ban was placed on the machines.

Online Casino Gaming is yet to be introduced in North Carolina, and it appears it will be sometime until the Tar Heel State offers online casinos NJ style.

North Carolina Casino Gambling

The Cherokee Tribe operate North Carolina’s two legal Tribal Casinos. Commercial Casinos are not authorized to operate in the state.

The state’s Tribal Casinos have a range of gambling options for the state players of North Carolina including; skill-based slot machines (more than 4300 slots offered), electronic table games and a wide selection of casino table games including live poker. The minimum bet at North Carolina casinos is $0.01 up to a maximum bet of a modest $100

Online Casinos in North Carolina

Due to the all-encompassing nature of its gambling laws, North Carolina is not required to specifically outlaw online casinos in its statutes.

Put simply, any form of unlicensed and unregulated gambling is considered invalid and therefore, illegal under North Carolina Law.

Poker in North Carolina

Social poker games are expressly prohibited under the law in North Carolina and harsh penalties, including potential imprisonment can result if charged. Playing home games of social poker are best avoided.

Live Poker options exist for the state of North Carolina in its tribal casino.

Poker Rooms

In North Carolina, Live Poker (most major forms including 7 Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, No Limit Texas Hold’em, No Limit Hold’em, Crazy Pineapple etc.) can be played for real money across 20 tables at one of the state’s Tribal Casinos.

Online Poker Laws

Online Poker games are not legalized in North Carolina and no law to alter that stance on online gambling is tabled for debate in the State Legislature. Please see the above section ‘Online Casinos in North Carolina’ for further explanation.

Benefits of Legalizing Gambling for North Carolina

  • With a population of less than one-third that of North Carolina, in 2017, Nevada earnt $248.8 million of additional annual tax revenue from legal sports betting. More than $4.7 billion in sports wagers were placed through the legal Nevada sports betting system in 2017 alone.
  • The American Gaming Association estimates that $150 billion in illegal sports bets are placed each year in the U.S. With legalization, North Carolina can take its rightful gaming tax revenue share.
  • Sports Betting could improve facilities and services to the state universities and Community Colleges of the Tar Heel State.
  • Legal gambling in a regulated and licensed legal gambling industry will provide greater levels of security and player protection standards for gamblers in the state of North Carolina.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in North Carolina

1753; Public gambling is banned and private gambling losses are capped setting the tone for the rigid anti-gaming laws still present today in North Carolina.

1939-54; Short period of legal greyhound racing for North Carolina.

1945; First charitable gambling (bingo) legalized in the state, followed by raffles in 1977.

1982; Eastern Cherokee Tribe opens a bingo parlor.

1997; First Tribal Casino opens in North Carolina.

2006; State Lottery begins in North Carolina, profits used to fund educational scholarships and other charities.

2007; Video Poker crackdown eliminates legal video poker in licensed bars.

2012; Table Games added to the Tribal Casino suite of casino games in North Carolina.

2017; DFS legalization bill HB 279 defeated in the State House, however, the practice continues without hindrance.

2019: Sports betting deemed legal to begin at two of North Carolina’s Tribal Casinos.

2021: Bricks-and mortar sports betting finally begins at the two North Carolina Tribal Casinos after a 2-year delay.

2022: A State Senate bill to legalize online sports gambling fails. North Carolina will have to wait until at least 2024 for online sports gambling to become available.

Visit our North Carolina Online Sports Betting page to read about the top online sportsbooks