North Carolina sports betting has been historically restrictive. Efforts to bring North Carolina online sports betting to this historic state have been few and far between with the most recent attempt recently failing in the state Senate.
There was recent optimism that full online sports wagering would come to the state in the summer of 2022, but the bill that would’ve allowed it was ultimately narrowly defeated. However, retail sports betting remains legal.
With the defeat of SB 688, North Carolina will have to wait until 2023 at the earliest, and possibly longer for the launch of the online industry. For now, North Carolina sports bettors must make do with two retail sportsbooks at both of the Harrah’s casinos currently available in their state. A third retail location has also opened in North Carolina as part of the Catawba Two Kings casino.
These locations have comfortable seating, wide television screens so that bettors can watch the action unfold as they place bets, and amenities like private viewing rooms and food options.
There is plenty of support locally for the expansion of sports betting, giving hope that change could come someday soon. A poll by WRAL discovered that 52% of North Carolina residents support legalized sports gambling, including online gambling. This margin held true across a broad swath of demographics, but was more widely supported among men (61%) than women (41%).
Given that many other states around North Carolina have already legalized mobile and online sports betting, it seems likely the state government will eventually read the writing on the wall. The wait just might be a little longer given recent legislative efforts.
With that in mind, let’s break down what you can expect from a hypothetical online sports betting industry in North Carolina.
3 Best Online Sports Betting Apps In North Carolina
DraftKings North Carolina
The first thing users will notice about DraftKings is that it has a very clean and modern user interface. Both the desktop and mobile versions are very intuitive and easy to use.
Bettors can look forward to betting on all of their favorite sports on DraftKings. The most popular leagues such as the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL have dedicated sections and links on the home page as do MMA, college sports, and soccer.
The selection of games is not limited to just those leagues though. Clicking on the “All Sports” tab shows the true breadth of DraftKings offerings including options from Australian Rules football to Volleyball. It is very likely that most bettors will find sports that they have never even heard of.
Games are organized by sport and the main tab for each sport includes the odds for spread, moneyline, and total bets. Clicking on a game opens up a wide variety of options including alternate lines, half and quarter lines, game props, and player props.
Players can make straight bets or parlays. DraftKings does not currently offer teasers or a same game parlay feature but this is offset by the large variety of props offered on most major games.
DraftKings offers frequent promotions including bet boosts, free pools, and a referral program. New users can get a deposit bonus equal to 20% of their deposit. The bonus has a 5x playthrough which means that a $1 bonus is converted to cash for every $5 in wagers.
BetMGM Sportsbook North Carolina
BetMGM calls itself the “King of Sportsbooks” and its confidence is not unfounded. Although getting a later start in the US market than some other sites, it has made a strong push to be considered among the leaders in the space. Its user interface is a little bit busy in the mobile version but it does not take long at all to get used to.
BetMGM offers one of the largest variety of sports of any sports betting site on the market. In addition to the usual suspects of the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL, it offers multiple international leagues and competitions. If you ever get bored of betting on the NBA and want to try betting on darts or snooker then give BetMGM a try.
BetMGM offers a One Game Parlay feature for major sports which gives users unparalleled ability to customize a bet to their exact specifications. In addition to combining the standard offering of bets and props, it allows users to customize the line on each prop to create the exact bet they want.
Each day, BetMGM offers a “Lion’s Boost” bet which takes a prop of specific interest to the local market and boosts the odds in the bettor’s favor. It is currently offering a $1,000 risk-free bet as a welcome bonus for new players. If you lose your first bet, it will issue you a refund in free bets up to $1,000.
Caesars Sportsbook North Carolina
North Carolina bettors will be hard-pressed to find a better user experience than with Caesars. As one of the leaders in the industry, the app and website are top of the line and easy to use allowing you to do everything from your mobile device.
Caesars already has a presence in North Carolina as they operate two of the only retail sportsbook locations at tribal casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino. Both locations offer options for food, watching live games, and placing bets in-person. Since they already operate within the state, you can be sure they would look to launch online as soon as they are able if legislation changes in the future.
As one of the leaders in the industry, Caesars provides odds on all the major sports one could want like the NFL, college football, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Other options include golf, soccer, tennis, MMA, and auto racing. Even niche sports like volleyball, table tennis, lacrosse are available as options to place wagers.
For new users, Caesars offers “up to $1,250 on Caesars.” If a new user loses their first bet, the user will be refunded the amount of their loss up to $1,250 in site credit plus 1,000 Reward Credits® and 1,000 Tier Credits. There is also the opportunity to join Caesars Rewards for use at over 50 locations nationwide.
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How Different Is One Sportsbook App From The Next?
In very many ways, the legal sports betting sites in North Carolina are very similar. Most importantly they all offer customers the peace of mind that they are licensed and regulated by the Gaming Division of the North Carolina Lottery Commission. They all will have a similar selection of games and lines for the major sports.
The differences are more subtle but they become apparent as users gain familiarity with these sites. The first difference that users will encounter is the new user sign-up bonuses. New users are usually very generous as sites attempt to put their best foot forward to gain new customers. Each site has a different offer and they all work a little bit differently. Users should always make sure they understand the sign-up bonus when joining a new site to make sure they get the most benefit.
Another key difference is the slate of sports available for wagering. All of the sites will have the most popular sporting events but if you have more obscure tastes you might want to shop around to see which site meets your needs. The types of bets offered can also be different. Some sites offer a wider variety of bet types like teasers, alternate lines or same game parlays. If you only like to bet against the spread this may not matter to you but for some bettors it will be a huge consideration.
The user interface is also a consideration. Sports betting should be fun and enjoyable so you will want to find a site that you enjoy using. This is very much a matter of personal preference so it’s a good idea to try out each site to find the one that you have the most fun using.
Another factor to take into account is the deposit and withdrawal process. Each site has a wide variety of banking options but they are not always the same. For instance, some sites take PayPal while others do not. The fun of winning is being able to spend your money so you will want to make sure to find a site that you are able to move money into and out of easily.
How Can Players Deposit Money In Online Sports Betting Apps In North Carolina
Online sports betting apps offer users a variety of options when it comes to depositing funds. It is important to remember that all sportsbooks and casinos are not the same, and not all options will be available everywhere, particularly at the start of any future launches in North Carolina. The most commonly offered options are listed below.
Some sites allow users to deposit funds directly from their bank account. Users can log in to their bank account directly through the app and use their account balance to fund their sports betting accounts. Not all banks allow deposits to sports betting sites so you should check with your bank to see if this is allowed.
PayPal is one of the quickest and easiest ways to deposit money into online sports betting sites. Deposits can be made directly from your PayPal balance or linked bank account.
Play+ is a service that has partnered with most major online sports betting sites. Users can create a Play+ account for free and then fund it through online banking or credit card. The Play+ funds can then be deposited into the sports betting site. Users will receive a Play+ card which can be used to spend or access their funds anywhere that Discover card is accepted.
Pay with Cash
Some sites allow the user to fund their sports betting accounts with cash. The cash can be deposited at the cage if the site has a land-based casino partner or at retail locations such as 7-Eleven or CVS.
Some sites will allow users to deposit funds using their debit or credit cards. Not all cards allow deposits directly to sports betting websites. If your card does not allow direct deposits, you still may be able to deposit using a service such as Play+.
Guide To Betting Online In North Carolina
At the moment, there aren’t any online betting options available in North Carolina to speak of. Both of The Book’s locations, which are available at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee North Carolina and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy North Carolina are in-person only sportsbooks. The sportsbook at the newly opened Catawba Two Kings Casino is also in-person only. There is no associated mobile app or desktop website to check out.
However, many of the broad strokes for a future online sports betting industry in North Carolina are predictable. Most states with legal online sports betting industries adhere to the same general rules and regulations, with a few differences depending on things like the legalization of certain bets like college sports and so on.
Let’s take a look at how betting might work in North Carolina once online sportsbooks are legalized.
Online Betting Bonuses In North Carolina
Any online sportsbook worth your time and money will have an excellent opening bonus. Opening bonuses are special promotional opportunities available only to new account holders (i.e. those who have not tried a certain sportsbook platform before). They’re designed to draw in new bettors and get you to check out a sportsbook app if you haven’t already.
There’s no telling which sportsbooks will try to acquire licensure for North Carolina operation. But we can make some educated guesses based on the proximity of certain sportsbooks to North Carolina’s borders and certain operators’ tendency to acquire licensure in all the states they possibly can.
For example, DraftKings, BetMGM, FanDuel, Caesars, BetRivers, PointsBet, FOX Bet, and Unibet are all likely contenders for sportsbook licensure if and when the state legislature approves online betting. Each of these sportsbooks will provide at least one opening bonus for North Carolina residents looking to get into sports betting.
Which bonuses can you expect? North Carolina’s sports betting legislation probably won’t limit the variety of opening bonuses available. So you could see bonuses like:
- No deposit bonuses or free bets. These player-friendly opening bonuses don’t require you to deposit a certain amount of money or do anything aside from claiming the bonus if within a set timeframe, such as seven days after making your account. Though these bonuses are usually low in value, they let you try out a new mobile sportsbook without risking your own cash upfront.
- Deposit match bonuses. As the name suggests, deposit match bonuses match your initial deposit by either a percentage, like 20%, or at a rate of 100%. DraftKings, for example, matches your initial deposit at a rate of 20% up to $1500. With these opening bonuses, you can quickly increase your initial pool of wagering cash.
- Risk-free bets only kick in if your first wager is a loss. While they don’t do anything if your first wager is a win, they do protect new sports bettors from losing all of their wagering money right off the bat. Normally, a site credit is refunded should a bettor lose their first bet.
No matter which opening bonus a sportsbook has, however, keep in mind that they each usually come with certain strings attached or terms and conditions.
For example, play-through requirements are common conditions for mobile sportsbook opening bonuses. DraftKings requires you to play through any site credit you get from the deposit match bonus 25 times before you can withdraw any of that credit as cash. Other sportsbooks have only single play-through requirements, which are much more reasonable.
Other terms and conditions may affect how you can use the credit you receive from the sportsbook in question. For instance, FanDuel’s no sweat first bet is refunded to you as five separate 20% vouchers rather than as a lump sum of site credit. You can’t combine the vouchers into your initial total amount.
Still, even with terms and conditions, opening bonuses are very valuable and let you either try out a sportsbook or maximize your wagering money right after making a big deposit.
Local Teams And Sports To Bet On In North Carolina
North Carolina residents are no strangers to major sporting events. In fact, North Carolina is home to several major professional sports franchises, including the NBA Charlotte Hornets, the NFL Carolina Panthers, and the NHL Carolina Hurricanes.
Luckily, any future online sportsbooks will undoubtedly have special promotions and regular betting lines for these teams and any associated leagues or sports they’re a part of. Should the mobile sports betting bill described above come to pass, sports facilities for each of the above professional sports franchises will also be able to run their own retail and/or online sportsbooks (though they will likely decide to partner with an existing sportsbook operator).
Aside from these specific teams and sporting events, North Carolina bettors will be able to place bets on NFL games, NBA games, MLB games, and much more.
Fortunately, current North Carolina sports betting legislation does not place any limitations on college bets. You can wager on any local teams within North Carolina at this time, no matter whether they are college or professional. Since this is the current standard for North Carolina’s sports betting industry, we expect online sports bettors to offer the same betting lines for the same events.
Some states, like New Jersey, limit collegiate bets and prevent sports bettors from wagering on teams or events within state lines. Time will tell how North Carolina’s online sports betting industry shapes up and whether the legislature changes its opinion on this point.
As part of the NFL, the Panthers can easily lay claim to being the most popular professional team in North Carolina. While the team has won just 5 games in three straight seasons, they do have a longer track record of success.
The Panthers have twice made the Super Bowl and two more conference championship games, an impressive feat considering they have only been a franchise since 1995. While Coach Matt Rhule might enter 2022 on a hot seat, he will have the services of former No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield at quarterback.
The Hurricanes are secretly the most successful major professional team in North Carolina having made the postseason four straight seasons, and winning the Stanley Cup in 2006.
Since the team moved from Hartford for the 1997-98 season, the Hurricanes have made the Eastern Conference Finals four times and won the championship once, a track record unmatched by its other local professional counterparts.
Led by stars Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov, and Jacob Slavin, Carolina expects to compete for postseason glory once again.
Owned by possibly the greatest basketball player of all-time, Michael Jordan, the Hornets move into 2022 and beyond looking to live up to the legacy of its famous owner. LaMelo Ball arrived in the NBA as one of the most hyped prospects ever, and has somehow lived up to that billing becoming an All-Star in just his second season.
Steve Clifford returns for his second stint as coach of the franchise hoping to lead it to another winning season, and a playoff spot. That might prove difficult in the rapidly improving Eastern Conference, and improving a porous defense will be critical to achieving those goals.
North Carolina College Sports
College sports are legendary in the state of North Carolina, particularly its famed Tobacco Road basketball schools: UNC, Duke, North Carolina State, and Wake Forest. The schools are not only powers in basketball, but compete in all sports as part of the Atlantic Coast Conference having had wide success in a variety of sports including football, baseball, and soccer.
Beyond Tobacco Road, North Carolina is home to a multitude of colleges and universities that compete in football and basketball at the highest levels. Appalachian State has proven itself to be giant killers in football, and Davidson College produced two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry.
Sportsbooks Coming Soon To North Carolina
The million-dollar question is which online sportsbooks will eventually arrive in North Carolina. It’s a tough one answer since no sportsbook operators have outright said that they plan to expand into North Carolina.
That being said, North Carolina is bordered by many states with legal sports betting industries. It may be that sportsbook operators in those bordering states could decide to expand into North Carolina to shore up their Eastern US market dominance.
Examples include Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. Virginia has several operating sportsbooks at the time of this writing, including some run by top companies like DraftKings and FanDuel. Tennessee also has a few sportsbooks up and running. Caesars already operates the two sportsbooks at Harrah’s tribal casinos within North Carolina, and would be prime candidates to eventually enter the local market.
Time will tell which sportsbooks eventually make it to this state. It may depend on how online sportsbooks are legalized in the first place. North Carolina’s legislature could decide to tether sportsbooks to retail casinos, in which case only a few operators will likely find the expansion worthwhile.
Legal Vs. Illegal Betting In North Carolina
At this time, online sportsbooks are still illegal. That means any sports betting platform currently active in North Carolina is illegal or offshore (or both).
It’s never a good idea to participate in illegal sports betting in North Carolina or any other state for several major reasons like illegal betting sites are not beholden to any regulatory body in the US. If they ever do anything criminal, such as stealing your personal information or the funds you give for sports betting, there’s little to nothing you can do to pursue justice.
In contrast, legal betting sites are the opposite of illegal sportsbooks in every way. They have good digital security no matter what, as this is always a condition for sports betting licensure in the first place, and they derive their odds from official league data sources, ensuring fair bets and profitable betting lines for all players.
How Do I Know That Online Sportsbooks In North Carolina Are Fair?
Even after a legal online sports betting market launches in North Carolina, it can be tough to know whether you can really trust the sportsbook platforms to launch. This is doubly true if you have tried an offshore betting site before and been burned by bad security or identity theft.
Still, there are lots of ways in which you’ll know that online sportsbooks in North Carolina are fair and safe places to spend your money.
Who Regulates Legal Online Sportsbooks In North Carolina?
It depends on which sports betting legislation is passed to legalize online betting. SB 688 proposes that the North Carolina Lottery Commission oversees all sports betting activities if it’s passed.
Under the terms of the bill, the Commission would have between 10 and 12 licenses to hand out to various operators, both retail and online. However, this bill has not yet been passed and things could change between now and the launch of online betting in North Carolina.
Licensed sportsbooks in North Carolina will come from other states and will have a history of successful operation elsewhere. North Carolina won’t license sportsbooks that don’t have a history of fair play, so you won’t need to worry about any sketchy organizations getting a hold of your money.
How Do I Get Paid If I Win?
Fortunately, legal online sportsbooks will launch with a variety of both deposit and withdrawal options to make it easy for you to fund your account and take out your winnings after a successful betting streak. The exact withdrawal methods available will depend both on the sports betting legislature and on the sportsbook you decide to use.
For example, if a sportsbook has a retail connection to one of the two North Carolina casinos, you could withdraw your winnings at the attached casino’s cash cage. Alternatively, you can try several electronic withdrawal methods including:
- Credit or debit card transfers
- Online bank transfers after connecting your bank account
- ACH or e-check transfers
- Electronic wallet transfers using PayPal or Skrill
- PayNearMe terminal transfers
- And more
It all depends on which withdrawal methods your chosen sportsbook supports. Check back to this page regularly as news develops to learn which sportsbook operators are set to launch in North Carolina and which withdrawal methods will be made available to you.
North Carolina Online Sports Betting FAQs
At the moment, sports bets are only legal at in-person books branded under “The Book” at both of North Carolina’s retail casinos. Fortunately, both of these sportsbooks allow you to place most major types of bets, including moneyline bets, spread bets, totals bets, futures bets, prop bets, and more.
Once North Carolina launches an online sports betting industry, all of these wager types will be available on whatever sportsbook platforms come to the state.
Yes. North Carolina is one of the few states with sportsbook industries that doesn’t limit your wagers on college events or teams whatsoever. You can bet not only on out-of-state teams and events but also North Carolina teams and sports matches.
However, keep in mind that this could change if online sports betting comes to North Carolina sometime in the future. The state legislature may decide to impose new restrictions in order to prevent players from abusing mobile apps or from introducing corruption into North Carolina’s college sports.
Each app includes a geolocation feature. In order to place wagers, players will need to be physically located within the state of North Carolina.
At the moment, any prospective tax rate is still up in the air. However, SB 688, the current online sports betting legalization legislation being discussed, calls for an 8% tax rate for all sports betting revenue, not just online betting revenue.
SB 688 also includes other limitations for operators like a $500,000 licensing fee for the first five years of operation. Though the 8% tax rate is low relative to other states in the sports betting industry, it could change between now and the passage of SB 688 or some other sports betting bill.
It’s tough to say. North Carolina’s eventual sports betting legislation will probably require online sportsbooks to have a history of successful operation in other states, usually within a timeframe of three years or so.
Generally speaking, sportsbook operators that already have a mobile app up and running are more successful at spreading into new betting markets than those who don’t. Sportsbooks will also be required to pay a licensing fee, which may be $500,000 or more, as well as submit to an in-depth investigation of their books and mobile software before being licensed.
As with all details, things could change between now and the passage of online sports betting legislation in North Carolina.
No. However, DraftKings currently offers daily fantasy sports or DFS to North Carolina residents. Previous sports betting legislation didn’t regulate or tax daily fantasy sports in any capacity. Furthermore, it didn’t explicitly outlaw DFS, so DraftKings has provided this activity to North Carolina residents all the while.
This could change, however, depending on what legal sports betting ends up looking like in the state.
No, but it offers DFS just like DraftKings. It still operates in a legally gray area where daily fantasy sports is neither legal nor outlawed.