North Carolina Gambling

With sports betting already here and the possibility of casino expansion next year, North Carolina gambling is roaring with change. NCSharp provides the latest news around the Tar Heel State.

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Latest North Carolina gambling news

Person completing an online form signifies NC sports betting suppliers receiving approval from regulators

NC Regulators Approve Nine More Sports Betting Suppliers

February 21, 2024
On Wed., NC sports betting regulators approved seven more provisional and two full sports betting supplier licenses. Get the breakdown:
Lion face on a ring signifies BetMGM's strong Super Bowl leading up to NC online sports betting launch

BetMGM’s Historic Super Bowl Buoys Hopes For NC Sports Betting Launch

February 21, 2024
How successful will the BetMGM Sportsbook App be in North Carolina? Will it be available when sports betting launches in NC in March?
Horses coming down home stretch signifies NC sports betting operators nearing launch.

Licensing Approval For Eight NC Sportsbooks Nears The Homestretch

February 20, 2024
The NCLC Sports Betting Committee met Monday, providing operator status updates, self exclusion, tribal gaming and other launch details.
Hands holding smartphone and tablet signify updated app integrations for ESPN Bet NC app.

ESPN Bet Set To Enter NC With Improved App Offerings

February 20, 2024
Jay Snowden, PENN Entertainment CEO, teased new ESPN Bet app features in the company's Q4 2023 earnings call. Read on for details.

Legal gambling options in North Carolina

Sports betting

North Carolina bettors can enjoy two Cherokee-operated casinos in the western part of the state and at the Catawba Nation’s Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain just outside of Charlotte. NC online sports betting offers various NC sportsbook promos for players in the state as well. Peruse the options and claim your favorite promo.

Casino gambling

North Carolina online casinos are not legal, though retail casinos could receive attention in the 2024 legislative session. There’s even a fair chance that online casinos will get put on the table. Meanwhile, North Carolinians can play a variety of casino games online at social and sweepstakes casinos. There are also three tribal casinos in North Carolina. Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River each feature slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, and other casino favorites, while Catawba Two Kings Casino has slots and electronic table games.

Online lottery

The North Carolina Educational Lottery is especially popular, and it has become even more so since the state began allowing online sales of lottery tickets. You can purchase tickets online for six draw games: Carolina Cash 5, Lucky for Life, Carolina Pick 4, Carolina Pick 3, Mega Millions, and Powerball. You can use the NC Education Lottery website or download and use the official NC Lottery app to purchase tickets. North Carolina was a relative latecomer when it came to introducing a state-run lottery, with tickets going on sale in 2006. However, the state was one of the first in the country to allow online lottery ticket sales, doing so in 2013.

Daily fantasy sports

Like many other states, North Carolina has no specific legislation authorizing daily fantasy sports and, thus, no framework to regulate it or collect taxes on it. NC Sports betting regulators added and then removed a definition to state sports betting regulations that would have outlawed prop-based fantasy contests. Regulators may laternow decide on prop-based fantasy games.

At the moment, people in North Carolina are free to enter the contests at DraftKings, FanDuel, and other sites, including prop-based fantasy sites.

Live and online poker

Online poker for real money is not an option in North Carolina, although poker players in the state can play online at Global Poker, a sweepstakes-style site. For live poker players, there is an especially popular poker room at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee. The World Series of Poker-branded poker room features 32 tables with cash games around the clock and daily and weekly tournaments. The casino also frequently hosts WSOP Circuit stops, with as many as four in a year.

Charitable gaming and bingo

North Carolina allows various types of charitable gaming, the most popular being bingo. Nonprofit organizations can apply for a charitable bingo license to offer games to produce revenue. These organizations can also offer a limited number of raffles per year. In addition, in 2019, the state legalized game nights as another way for charitable organizations to raise funds, although such events can only happen east of Interstate 26 (i.e., not in proximity to the Cherokee casinos in western NC). Bingo fans can also play beach bingo at various locations for small prizes.

Paying taxes on gambling winnings

Don’t forget that North Carolina counts gambling winnings as income. That means you have to pay taxes on gambling winnings in North Carolina. Check out our page on how to report and pay taxes on your gambling winnings in North Carolina.

North Carolina online gambling FAQ

What is the minimum legal age to gamble in North Carolina?

It depends on the type of gambling. You must be 18 or older to buy lottery tickets. And you must be at least 21 to gamble in the state’s tribal casinos. Online sports betting also has a minimum age of 21.

Is it legal to gamble online in North Carolina?

Most forms of online gambling in North Carolina are not legal, including real money online casinos. You can play games at online social and sweepstakes casinos for virtual currencies. You can also purchase lottery tickets online and enter daily fantasy sports contests online. Online sports betting is legal in North Carolina and launched on March 11, 2024.

When will online casino gambling be legal?

Probably not in the next year or two. The state has only just legalized sports betting, and retail casinos are not yet legal. It is usually the case that a state legalizes sports betting–both retail and online–and retail casinos before it addresses online casinos.

With that said, casino expansion has picked up momentum this year with leading lawmakers pushing for its legalization. We could see online casino legislation in the 2o24 legislative session.

Who regulates gambling in North Carolina?

When it comes to North Carolina’s three tribal casinos, the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the tribal-state compacts and otherwise oversees the facilities’ operations. Meanwhile, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission, a state agency belonging to the Department of Commerce, oversees the NC Education Lottery, sports betting and horse race betting. The Alcohol Law Enforcement agency, part of the NC Department of Public Safety, enforces criminal laws prohibiting illegal gambling.