North Carolina Sports Betting

Sports betting in North Carolina is on track for significant expansion this year. In-person wagering exists at a few locations, but a new sports betting bill could bring online sports betting to the Tar Heel State in the next year.

Lawmakers in the state Senate passed an amended sports betting bill on June 1 that cleared the House in March. The House now must determine whether it will approve the Senate’s changes. If it becomes law, it would finally allow North Carolina residents to bet on sports from the comfort of their homes. Smartphones and computers would make the process easy.

At NCSharp, we have all the sports betting news you need to know in North Carolina. Check back often for the details of the state’s push to legalize online sports betting in 2023.

Latest NC sports betting news

Horse racers signify pari-mutuel wagering coming to NC

North Carolina Sports Betting Bill Permits Horse Race Betting

June 2, 2023
A Senate amendment to the North Carolina sports betting bill added legal online pari-mutuel horse race betting to the legislation.
The North Carolina Senate passes sports betting bill

North Carolina Poised To Legalize Online Sports Betting

June 1, 2023
North Carolina is on the cusp of legal online sports betting. The Senate sent the industry's future back to the House by passing HB 347.
NC state symbol signifies legislature passing sports betting bill

Senate Convincingly Affirms NC Sports Betting, Horse Racing Bill

May 31, 2023
The NC Senate passed House Bill 347 on its second reading. A final vote will occur Thursday before it returns to the House for concurrence.
Jumping hurdles signifies legislation clearing two Senate committees

With Modified Launch Language, Senate Floor Next Stop For NC Sports Betting Bill

May 30, 2023
House Bill 347 advanced Tuesday through two legislative committees en route to the NC Senate floor, but not without more alterations.

Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?

Yes, but only retail sports betting at three tribal casinos. Online sports betting is not legal in the state.

The two Cherokee-operated tribal casinos in western NC each have retail sportsbooks. So does the Catawba-operated casino located near Charlotte.

When will online sports betting be available in North Carolina?

If all goes well, North Carolina online sports betting could launch as soon as Jan. 8, 2024. A new bill to legalize online sports betting – House Bill 347 – has cleared the state House and Senate. Because the Senate made changes to the bill, the House must approve the changes before it can be signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Cooper has already indicated he will sign the bill into law, as he supports NC adding online sports betting just as its neighbors Virginia and Tennessee have.

Potential online sports betting apps in North Carolina

The legislation under consideration in the General Assembly allows for 10 to 12 online books, although the number could change as the bill is debated. Tribal online sports betting licenses would not count against the 10 to 12 licenses.

Should expanded sports betting come to NC, there are a few online sportsbooks we can expect to see vying to launch in the state. The following are the most likely online sportsbooks in North Carolina post-legalization:

Caesars Sportsbook

Given that retail Caesars Sportsbooks are already legal sports wagering options in North Carolina (at the two Cherokee casinos), it would seem especially likely that an online Caesars Sportsbook would be among the options.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings is already a well-known brand in NC, thanks to its daily fantasy sports site. Given that DraftKings finds its way into practically every state where online sports betting is legal, North Carolina would also appear to be likely if the time comes.

FanDuel Sportsbook

Like DraftKings, FanDuel also already serves North Carolina with its daily fantasy sports site. FanDuel has also consistently launched in new sports betting states, much like DraftKings. Expect to see an online FanDuel Sportsbook launch if mobile betting in North Carolina becomes legal.

BetMGM Sportsbook

BetMGM has no specific connection to North Carolina, either through a casino partnership or other means. However, the online BetMGM Sportsbook is already available in Tennessee and Virginia, meaning it could already have some recognition among NC sports fans.

BetRivers Sportsbook

BetRivers operates an online sportsbook in Virginia and several other states nationwide. BetRivers has no explicit NC connection, and its interest in the state might be in question after the sportsbook chose not to operate in Massachusetts, which launched legal sports betting earlier this year.

Where to bet on sports in North Carolina

Three retail sportsbooks are operating in North Carolina, one each at the state’s three tribal casinos:

  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (Cherokee)
  • Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel (Murphy)
  • Catawba Two Kings Casino (Kings Mountain)

Both Cherokee properties have a Caesars Sportsbook where visitors can bet on various professional and college sports. Both are located off the casino floor and feature huge television screens, including a 90-foot one at Harrah’s Cherokee. Both books have betting windows and kiosks, bar-top games and nearby food options.

The new sportsbook at Catawba Two Kings Casino that opened in September 2022 is 30 sports betting kiosks powered by International Gaming Technology. The area containing the kiosks is close to the slots and electronic table games on the main casino floor.

Possible new retail sportsbooks in North Carolina

Those three tribal casino sportsbooks are the only retail locations where you can legally bet on sports in NC. It is possible lawmakers could authorize additional retail sportsbooks if and when they expand legal sports betting or allow for commercial casinos to operate in NC.

The legislation to expand sports betting includes provisions to allow additional sports betting locations at professional sports venues and golf courses that host professional tour stops. The bill would not authorize full-fledged sportsbooks but would permit sports betting lounges containing kiosks. Here are the main potential locations for such sportsbooks:

  • Bank of America Stadium (Carolina Panthers)
  • Spectrum Center (Charlotte Hornets)
  • PNC Arena (Carolina Hurricanes)
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (NASCAR)
  • Quail Hollow Club (PGA)

Latest efforts to expand North Carolina sports betting

The North Carolina Legislature is considering a bill to legalize online sports betting. It calls for a launch of online sportsbooks as soon as Jan. 8, 2024.

This year’s legalization efforts come on the heels of 2022’s failure. Legal online sports betting fell one vote shy in the state House last year.

2023: Is this the year for North Carolina sports betting?

Lawmakers regrouped after coming so close in 2022 and rallied bipartisan support for a new bill: HB 347. It sailed through the state House unscathed before being amended in the Senate. Among the key parts of the bill as it stands now:

  • Proposes online sportsbooks to start operating as soon as Jan. 8, 2024;
  • Allows betting on college sports;
  • Taxes online sports betting revenue at 18%;
  • Allows up to 12 different online sportsbooks to open in the state;
  • Introduces pari-mutuel and advance deposit wagering for horse race betting;
  • No restrictions on using credit cards to fund sportsbook accounts;
  • Allocates $2 million annually to fight problem gambling.

HB 347 passed the House on March 29 by a 64-45 vote. An amended version of the bill passed the Senate on June 1, 37-11. The ball is back in the House’s court. The lower chamber must approve the Senate’s changes before the bill can advance to Gov. Cooper.

How did we get to this point?

2021: Senate passes sports betting bill; House committee approves

In August 2021, the NC Senate passed a bill to significantly increase NC sports wagering options, including legalizing online sports betting in North Carolina. The bill, Senate Bill 688, passed by a 26-19 vote.

SB 688 would have authorized 10 to 12 online sports betting licenses in NC, each initially paying a $500,000 five-year license fee. Professional sports venues and golf courses hosting pro tournaments also could have opened retail sports betting locations. The bill would have taxed sports betting revenue at a rate of 8%.

In November 2021, the House Commerce Committee voted 12-4 in favor of the bill. Lawmakers then set the legislation aside to revisit it in 2022.

2022: House revises bill, then votes it down by a single vote

The bill made it through other House committees to start the year, though the full House waited until the latter part of June to take up the matter just before the end of the session. Lawmakers proposed multiple changes to the legislation, including one to increase the tax on revenue to 14% and another to increase the license fee to $1 million. These changes became part of a companion bill, Senate Bill 38.

Another significant change at the last minute prohibited all betting on college sports. Such a change carred great significance in North Carolina, where college sports are especially popular.

Finally, on June 22, 2022, the full House voted on both bills. SB 38, the companion bill, passed by a 51-50 vote. However, that vote became inconsequential when SB 688 failed by a 50-51 vote. Rep. Jeffrey Elmore was the lone House member to change his vote. Six House members did not vote, and another 13 were absent or excused from voting.

Rep. John Bell later changed his vote from “yes” to “no” (making the official tally 49-52) in order to attempt to send the legislation back to committee for more changes, but the House voted against that proposal.

North Carolina sports teams to bet on

North Carolina is the 10th-most populous state in the country, just ahead of Michigan, New Jersey and Virginia, three states where online sports betting is legal. It’s also a state where sports are especially popular, with multiple professional franchises and many colleges and universities with avid fan bases.

North Carolina professional sports teams

  • Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have technically represented North Carolina and South Carolina since joining the NFL in 1995. The team plays home games at Bank of America Stadium in downtown Charlotte.

  • Charlotte Hornets

The first Charlotte Hornets franchise debuted in the NBA in 1988. In 2002, the franchise relocated to New Orleans, but in 2004, a new one began in Charlotte as the Bobcats. In 2014, the team retook the Hornets name. The Hornets play their home games in the Spectrum Center in downtown Charlotte.

  • Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL lay claim to the only professional sports title in North Carolina history, having won the Stanley Cup in 2006. The team became the Hurricanes in 1997, when the former Hartford Whalers relocated to Raleigh. The Hurricanes play home games at PNC Arena.

North Carolina college sports teams

  • North Carolina Tar Heels

The University of North Carolina is one of college basketball’s best-known teams. The Tar Heels have won six NCAA titles, the third-most in history. UNC has also made 21 Final Fours, the most of any team during March Madness.

  • Duke Blue Devils

Duke University also enjoys national prominence thanks to having won five NCAA men’s basketball titles, all under the leadership of head coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The Duke/UNC rivalry reached new heights in 2022 when the longtime rivals met in the Final Four. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
  • North Carolina State Wolfpack

Just up the road from UNC and Duke in Raleigh is North Carolina State University, home of the Wolfpack. Though NCSU has less of a national profile than its neighbors, the Wolfpack have had a couple of extremely memorable March Madness moments, both resulting in NCAA titles: 1974 and 1983.

  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake Forest University had been located just north of Raleigh until moving about an hour west to Winston-Salem in the 1950s. The men’s basketball team has not won an NCAA title, but it has one Final Four appearance and several other deep runs to its credit.

    Several other schools in North Carolina also compete in Division I in basketball and/or the FBS in college football:

    • Appalachian State Mountaineers
    • Campbell Fighting Camels
    • Davidson Wildcats
    • East Carolina Pirates
    • Elon Phoenix
    • Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs
    • High Point Panthers
    • North Carolina A&T Aggies
    • North Carolina Central Eagles
    • UNC Charlotte 49ers
    • UNC Greensboro Spartans
    • UNC Wilmington Seahawks
    • Western Carolina Catamounts
    • Queens University of Charlotte is also transitioning to NCAA Division I men’s basketball, with the Royals due to become an active DI member in 2026-27.

    North Carolina Responsible Gambling

    The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) supports a couple of responsible betting programs.

    The North Carolina Problem Gambling Program provides several problem gambling treatment and recovery services, including online and in-person education and training for counselors and prevention and outreach programs.

    More Than a Game, another NCDHHS program, is a comprehensive gambling assistance program that offers immediate support via:

    The North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling, an affiliate of the National Council on Problem Gambling, helps compulsive gamblers and their families find counseling and assistance.

    Read more: Responsible gambling services in North Carolina

    North Carolina sports betting FAQ

    What is the minimum age to wager on sports in North Carolina?

    You must be at least 21 years old to gamble at tribal casinos in North Carolina. These three casino sportsbooks are the only places you can legally wager on sports in North Carolina.

    Do I have to be a North Carolina resident to bet on sports in NC?

    No, and if North Carolina legalizes online sports betting, you won’t have to be a resident to bet that way, either, although you would need to be located within state boundaries to do so.

    Who regulates North Carolina sports betting?

    The only legal sports betting in North Carolina is at the three tribal casinos. The Tribal Gaming Commission for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians regulates gambling at the two Harrah’s locations, including at their retail sportsbooks. the Catawba Nation Gaming Commission regulates the Twin Kings Casino retail sportsbook. The state of North Carolina has some oversight to ensure tribes comply with the respective tribal-state compacts. Should North Carolina expand sports betting, including legalizing statewide online sports betting, the North Carolina Education Lottery would likely provide oversight.

    When did North Carolina legalize sports betting?

    In July 2019, the North Carolina General Assembly passed Senate Bill 154, which enabled wagering on sports and horse racing on tribal lands in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The bill had strong support, with the Senate voting 43-7 in favor and the House at 90-27 before Gov. Roy Cooper signed it.

    Can I bet on UNC, Duke and other state schools in North Carolina?

    At the moment, yes. It remains to be seen, however, whether expanded sports betting in the state will allow wagering on in-state college teams. Current legislation in the North Carolina state Senate allows for wagering on college teams and amendments to disallow it have been voted down.

    About the Author

    Tyler Andrews

    Tyler is the Managing Editor for, covering sports, sports law, and gambling for the Tar Heel State. He has also covered similar topics for PlayTexas, PlayGeorgia, PlayCA, PlayFlorida, PlayOhio, and PlayMA. Tyler’s current focus is North Carolina’s pathway to gaming legalization.