Slot machines are synonymous with casino gambling, so it is no surprise to find that slots are the most popular option at North Carolina casinos. And while the state does not allow you to play online slots, you can play slots online at social and sweepstakes casinos from within the state.
This page contains all the basics about slot machines and playing slots in North Carolina, including information about retail locations with slots and the current status of online slot options.
Are slot machines legal in North Carolina?
Yes, slot machines are a legal form of gambling in North Carolina, although slots are only available at the state’s tribal casinos. Compacts between the tribes and the state allow slots as a legal option at three tribal venues.
Otherwise, it is against the law for any person or organization to offer slots or other unauthorized games of chance for real money gambling in North Carolina. Those who violate the law can face misdemeanor charges, as noted in General Statutes 14-292.
North Carolina officially outlawed video poker and video gambling machines in 2007. Despite that prohibition, over recent years people in North Carolina might have nonetheless encountered video slots in so-called “sweepstakes” locations. Sometimes called video sweepstakes machines, these slot-like games have been illegal for many years, but establishments have nonetheless continued to appear.
In many cases, the businesses or “arcades” offering these games tried to exploit a legal loophole by saying the games included a skill requirement. However, in many cases, the games’ skill component was relatively trivial, requiring a player simply to choose the larger of two boxes or the like after playing.
Then, in February 2022, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued an opinion clarifying that the games were illegal. Now businesses that offer the games will be guilty of a misdemeanor initially, then a felony upon subsequent violations.
Bottom line, the only genuinely legal slot machines in North Carolina are at the tribal casinos in the state.
Can I play online slots for real money in North Carolina?
Online gambling for real money is illegal in North Carolina, which means you won’t find any real money online casinos serving players in the state.
You may find online casinos that claim to be legal for NC players. Such sites are located outside the country and under no obligation to abide by US or North Carolina regulations. That being the case, it’s best to avoid such sites.
If you were to deposit funds on one of these sites, your money and personal information could be at risk. Making matters worse, if you do run into difficulties, you won’t have any legal recourse since the site is located outside the US and licensed elsewhere (if it is licensed at all).
Online slots at social and sweepstakes casinos in North Carolina
One legal option for playing online slots in North Carolina is at social and sweepstakes casinos. These sites let you play games using virtual currencies, and in some cases, you can redeem your winnings for cash prizes.
All of the social and sweepstakes casinos below have solid slots libraries, with games featuring the same high-level graphics and sound effects as regular online casinos or live video slots. They therefore provide a great opportunity to try out free online slots first, as well as other types of casino games, before playing their real money counterparts at live North Carolina slots casinos.
A Yellow Social Interactive company, Pulsz offers over 200 slots. The site also features various table games like blackjack and roulette. As with other sweepstakes and social casinos, the slot titles are unique to Pulsz. Popular titles include Big Bass Bonanza, Disco Beats, Hot Triple Sevens, and Coins of Egypt.
Chumba Casino features more than 80 slots along with blackjack, roulette and video poker. A VGW Malta Limited company, Chumba features a number of popular titles like Stampede Fury, Western Gold, Reelin’ ’N’ Rockin’ and Big Goreela.
Like Chumba, LuckyLand Slots is also a product of Virtual Gaming Worlds, although, as the name suggests, it focuses almost entirely on online slot machines. The site does feature one keno-like game as well as instant-win scratchers. You’ll find over 40 slots on the site, including titles like Buffalo Rush, King of the Jungle, Dragon’s Den and Neon Valley.
Funzpoints is another up-and-coming sweepstakes casino. From Woopla Inc., the site features approximately 60 slots plus keno. It also offers jackpot drawings. Some popular slots on Funzpoints include Barnyard Frenzy, Enchantress Luna, Kongo’s Adventure, and Fruit Party.
For the most part, these sweepstakes and social casinos are only available to play via web browser, though Pulsz does offer an app for Android and iOS devices. Even so, you can access all of these sites on a browser via mobile devices, and they tend to scale nicely.
Popular slots in North Carolina
North Carolina casinos have thousands of slot machines for people to play in person. Here are some of the most popular North Carolina slot machine titles you’ll find:
- 88 Fortunes
- Bier Haus
- Buffalo Grand
- Cleopatra II
- Invaders from Planet Moolah
- Lightning Link
- Mayan Chief
- Sex and the City
- Texas Tea
- Triple Double Diamond
- Wheel of Fortune
- Wolf Run
When you play slots in North Carolina, you’ll not only find a lot of variety in game titles, but also a selection of different types of slots from which to choose:
- Progressive jackpots — There are many examples of progressive slots in NC casinos. These slots are part of a network of machines that feature top prizes that increase every time someone plays without winning the jackpot. Progressive slots typically feature some of the biggest prizes in a casino.
- High-limit slots — Each of the casinos in North Carolina have high-limit slots where you can spend more per spin than at the regular machines. Whereas the slots on the main floor can be as inexpensive as a penny to play, over in the high-limit areas, the stakes may go as high as $25 per spin.
- Video poker — You’ll find video poker machines among the slots at casinos in the state. Options include Deuces Wild, Double Double Bonus Poker, Joker Poker, Jacks or Better and the like. Look for video poker both on the main casino floor and in high-limit areas.
- Electronic table games — North Carolina casinos also offer electronic table games that let you play video versions of blackjack, roulette, craps and other casino favorites.
North Carolina casinos with slots
North Carolina now has three tribal casinos, all of which feature slots as the marquee game. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates two of the casinos, while the Catawba Nation runs the third. There are no commercial casinos in North Carolina. Here are the three tribal venues:
- Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
- Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River
- Catawba Two Kings Casino
Harrah’s Cherokee in Cherokee is the largest casino in the state, with 150,000 square feet of gambling space. The casino advertises having over 3,000 slots, and at times it has had approximately 3,500 to 3,600 slot machines available.
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy is a smaller property with about 50,000 square feet of casino space. Even so, it has a selection of over 1,000 slots.
Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain is North Carolina’s newest casino. The property is still under construction, so it only has about 30,000 square feet available, with slots as the primary attraction at the moment. The casino advertises about 1,000 slots currently, with plans to add hundreds more.
North Carolina slots FAQ
No, there is no winning strategy for slots. When you play a slot machine, you are playing a game based entirely on chance with no skill involved. However, while you can’t necessarily increase your chances of winning at slots, you certainly can increase the likelihood that you’ll enjoy yourself and have a positive experience by practicing smart bankroll management and always making sure to play within your means. Make it a point to practice responsible gambling and only gamble with money you can afford to lose.