How To Show Geocompliance When Placing Online Bets In North Carolina

The online sports betting market in North Carolina is set to go live on March 11.

Eight sportsbooks have received their online betting licenses after all their paperwork met the North Carolina State Lottery Commission’s requirements. One of those requirements includes geocompliance.

Geocompliance and geofencing affect all bettors in North Carolina, and if you plan to bet using an NC online sports betting app, you will need to show geocompliance.

What is geocompliance?

In a nutshell, geocompliance ensures that all wagering activity in a particular jurisdiction occurs from within that state’s borders. These rules prevent bettors outside the jurisdiction from accessing the licensed sportsbook platforms.

All licensed North Carolina operators have agreed to adhere to these guidelines, which means bettors from other jurisdictions cannot access these NC-exclusive sportsbooks from outside the state’s borders. Meanwhile, tribal sportsbooks can use geofencing to restrict access to within their land’s boundaries.

Geofencing is, essentially, technology that uses cellular data, GPS or RFID to create a virtual fence around a specific area. Hence, certain platforms can be accessed only when the device is inside that perimeter. This technique ensures compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).

All licensed sportsbook operators use geolocation systems that deploy GPS tracking, IP analysis and Wi-Fi triangulation to pinpoint the location of any player trying to access the operator’s sportsbook. If the individual is physically within state borders, access is granted. If not, access is denied.

The technology works automatically for devices with built-in Bluetooth, GPS or Wi-Fi functionalities. If a device does not have any of those options, the sportsbook operator prompts the user to install a GeoComply plug-in.

What does geolocation technology prevent?

Geolocation solutions are used primarily to prevent multiple illegal activities, including fraud, underage gambling and illegal gambling. North Carolina has become the 30th state in the US to legalize online sports betting, which means there are 20 states where online betting is still illegal. Bettors residing in these states often gamble on illegal websites or try to access licensed sportsbooks that are accessible from other states.

Without geolocation, it would be impossible to determine whether a player was located within the borders of a state or in some other jurisdiction. Occasionally, individuals try to bypass the geolocation check by using a virtual private network (VPN). Doing so violates North Carolina’s gambling laws and those of many other jurisdictions where online gambling is illegal.

How do you show geocompliance?

You can show geocompliance in North Carolina from a mobile device, PC or Mac. The process depends on the platform, but here’s a general way to prove you’re in North Carolina across different devices.

Mobile devices

This process is very easy on mobile devices. When you download a sportsbook app, it will ask you to use your geolocation services when you start the app. You can approve that request or go into your settings later and turn it on. 

If you’re an Apple user, follow the pathway: 

Settings>>>Privacy and Security>>>Location Services (Set to “On”)>>>Access the sports betting app and confirm to share your location.

If you use an Android device, it’s a similar pathway: 

Settings>>>Location (set to “On”)>>>App Permissions>>>Locate Sports Betting App of choice and select “allow location services” all the time OR only when using the app (it’s up to you).

PC and Mac

Laptops and desktops show geocompliance through a unique IP address, which represents the physical location of your internet connection.

You don’t need to do anything to provide this information. Sportsbooks receive the information directly when you sign into your account.

Why might a sportsbook mistakenly geofence you out of its app?

A number of factors associated with geolocation might keep you from making a bet. Some are related to specific physical locations, while others deal with the way devices gather your geolocation.

Geolocation services

For people betting at home on a PC or Mac, you can run into geofencing for a number of reasons.

IP address: If you live close to a border, your IP address may not be accurate enough to pinpoint you on the right side of the border. This issue could occur if you live near the border with another state. It could also happen if you live near the border of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ tribal lands, and you try to place a bet with any sportsbook other than Caesars Sportsbook NC, which has exclusive access on EBCI lands.

WiFi signal: Your laptop may get geofenced out of a program if the signal is too weak.

Large bodies of water: Sometimes water creates interference for geolocation services. Living near a large enough lake could cause problems for some NC residents, though this is a very small chance.

Using mobile devices to place bets online is the simplest solution since phones have accurate GPS-based location services built into their 4G, 5G and WiFi connections.

VPNs and Remote Desktop programs can shut you out of NC sportsbook apps

People try to use VPNs to access sportsbooks out of their jurisdiction. This option works less and less, and you should not do it. You’re very likely to get blocked if you’re found on a VPN, and you have the chance of having your account canceled.

If you use a remote desktop program to allow other people to access your computer, sportsbooks could geofence you out as well. The reason is that remote desktops potentially allow people other than you–and possibly from outside the state–to access your computer. To a sportsbook, it can look like someone has infiltrated your computer, and they can shut you down as a security measure.

So, if you’re getting geofenced out of your sportsbook app, ensure you don’t have any remote desktop programs running in the background.

Proving geocompliance in North Carolina should not present a problem

As noted above, most devices communicate your location automatically and to a high degree of accuracy. Showing geocompliance will simply not be a concern for almost all NC sports bettors. But, in the rare chance that it is, the workarounds provided should get you back up and running in no time.


Tyler Andrews, managing editor at, contributed to this report.

About the Author

Nikhil Kalro

Nikhil Kalro is a sports betting writer at NCSharp. With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specializations include soccer, football, basketball, tennis and esports betting.