North Carolina Online Sports Betting Bonuses

HB 154 was legalized in July 2019, officially legalizing sports betting in North Carolina. However, it still took over a year for sports wagering to launch in any real capacity, all because legislators were finalizing regulations. Now only time will tell if North Carolina online sports betting bonuses will be available to bettors.

Unfortunately, all that debate did little to birth a truly robust and varied sports betting market. In fact, sports bettors in North Carolina now only have two choices, both of them in-person and from the same sportsbook brand.

Dubbed “The Book” and run in part by Caesars Entertainment, this pair of in-person sportsbooks are available at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, located in Cherokee North Carolina, and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, located in Murphy North Carolina. Both of these casinos are very similar, and both sports betting locations are relatively simplistic compared to some of the nicer, more developed sportsbooks available in neighboring states.

Indeed, online sports betting is still flatly illegal in this state, although that may change sometime in the near future. To make matters worse, neither of The Book sportsbook locations offer opening bonuses of any kind. The Book’s locations are well-designed, however, featuring good amenities, wide-screen TVs, and odds from Caesars Entertainment.

Even with this minimalist sportsbook market, hope remains. Senators Paul Lowe and Jim Perry recently introduced SB 688 in April 2021. This bill has finally started moving through North Carolina’s legislative committees. As of August 2021, many legislators believe it has a reasonable chance to pass.

Should it pass, online sports betting will also be legalized in North Carolina, although operators will likely still be tethered to the state’s above-mentioned Appalachian casinos. Since online sports betting is now a possibility, let’s break down the opening bonuses you might see offered by those future betting platforms.

Online Sports Betting In North Carolina

At the time of this writing, online sports betting isn’t possible in North Carolina. However, you can hop the border to neighboring states and potentially check out some of the below online sportsbook platforms. The bonuses described here are available in most other states where the platforms are operating.

Furthermore, the sportsbooks below are among the most likely to apply for licensure in North Carolina should SB 688 pass some time in the near future. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these mobile sportsbooks in more detail and break down the opening bonuses you can expect to see for making an account with them.


FanDuel is one of the best mobile sportsbooks in the industry, bar none. It offers fantastic in-play betting opportunities, an easy-to-navigate mobile app, and a very generous opening bonus: a risk-free bet that is worth up to $1,000 of site credit. Be advised that the credit has to be played through at least once and that is distributed in five 20% credit vouchers rather than as a lump sum of credit. So you can’t use your initial credit to make another big bet if you lose your first wager.


DraftKings is another popular sportsbook app, and for many excellent reasons. It offers fantastic market depth and variety, player-friendly odds, and regular promotions, especially for users of the mobile app. Its opening bonus offers both a $50 free bet and a 20% deposit match bonus worth up to $1,000 of site credit. All credit has to be played through 25 times before you can withdraw it, unfortunately, and the free bet has to be used within 7 days of making your account.


BetMGM offers excellent in-play betting, a smooth in-app experience, and a generous opening bonus: a risk-free bet worth up to $1000. BetMGM is also popular due to its rewards program and general ease of use. 


PointsBet offers a distinctive wagering experience through a PointsBetting system, which offers a unique type of wager you can’t find anywhere else. This app also provides a decent opening bonus with two parts.


BetRivers provides excellent betting markets both for US and international sports, plus an easy-to-navigate mobile app that new sports bettors will appreciate. In-play bets are especially fun and engaging on this mobile betting platform. The bonus is small, but easy to claim: a 100% deposit match bonus worth up to $250 with just a one-time play-through requirement.


Unibet, now live in Arizona, Iowa, Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, is a well-known and acclaimed sports betting app that’s expanding across the US rapidly. Recently, it’s been among the first to apply for licensure in emerging sports betting markets, and North Carolina isn’t likely to be any different. It offers a fairly average opening bonus of $500 as a risk-free bet.

Types Of Sports Betting Bonuses In North Carolina

Although we don’t yet know which online sportsbooks will eventually show up in North Carolina, we do know the types of opening bonuses they’ll offer. That’s because online sportsbooks only offer a handful of account bonus types. Let’s break down these bonus types in more detail now.

Risk-Free Bet

Risk-free bets are some of the most popular promotional bonuses for new account holders for one key reason: they protect your initial wagering cash from vanishing just because of a first bad bet.

These bonuses are particularly nice for new sports bettors who don’t know the ropes of smart betting just yet. They’re simple; if you wager and lose, you’ll be refunded up to a certain amount. There is a downside with these bonuses in that they don’t kick in if you are fortunate with your first wager.

Still, they’re a good way to have fun with your first bet since you don’t have to worry about your money disappearing right away. All risk-free bets refund you with site credit, and most require you to play through the credit at least once before you can withdraw any of it as cash again.

One good example is FanDuel’s risk-free bet bonus. It’s worth up to $1,000, so if you wager and lose you’ll get refunded up to that amount. All the credit is provided to you in the form of five separate 20% bets. So if you wager $100, you’ll get five credit vouchers each worth $20.

Deposit Match

Many sportsbooks also provide deposit match bonuses. These bonuses match your initial deposit amount up to a certain percentage and credit limit. DraftKings’ deposit match bonus, for instance, is a 20% bonus worth up to $1,000.

Say you deposit $100. DraftKings will give you another $20 of site credit to use as you please. But like risk-free bets, these promotional opportunities often have play-through requirements. In DraftKings’ case, it’s particularly egregious; you have to play through any site credit 25 times before you can withdraw that credit as cash.

Still, some deposit match bonuses can be great for increasing your initial wagering money, especially if you deposit a massive amount of cash upfront. The value of these bonuses increases the more money you give to a sportsbook app right off the bat. 

No-Deposit/Free Bets

No deposit bonuses or free bets are also common and may be offered in conjunction with either of the above two bonus types.

You don’t have to deposit any minimum amount to enjoy these bonuses. Instead, bettors are usually given free bets or site credit at a set amount, like $10 or a $50 free bet. Then you can use those bets either as you please or for wagers with specific odds ranges.

DraftKings once again provides a great example. This operator offers a $50 free bet in many of the states where it’s currently active. You have to use the free bet within seven days of making your account, but otherwise it’s a great way to try out a mobile app before putting more money down.

Claiming Online Sportsbook Bonuses In North Carolina

Although details about any online sports betting industry in North Carolina are scarce, we feel comfortable predicting how you’ll be able to claim any sportsbook bonuses should they eventually appear.

The fact of the matter is that any online sportsbook bonuses have to be easy to claim or new players would not take advantage of them. Basically, sportsbook bonuses will be available through one of two methods:

  • Either you’ll have to input a bonus code after registering for your sportsbook account
  • Or you’ll simply be eligible for a bonus upon making an account and can claim it after opening the app for the first time

In the first method, you’ll need to put a bonus code into an applicable entry bar at some point during the registration process. Most online sportsbooks have you do this once you’ve finalized your account information, such as when you input your address, Social Security number, and more.

Some sportsbooks will also have you put in any applicable bonus code when you input the payment information for your account, such as when linking a credit or debit card to your sportsbook platform.

Either way, be sure to put the bonus code in when prompted. Most online sportsbooks won’t allow you to take advantage of an opening bonus or input the code if you miss your chance during registration.

For all other sportsbooks, you’ll be able to claim the opening bonus by navigating to a “Promo” or similar tab in the app. Then you’ll be able to find the opening bonus credit or promotions from a list. The app will automatically lock you out of claiming the same bonus twice.

Remember, always read the terms and conditions of any online sportsbook bonus so you know how to use it to its maximum extent and so you aren’t surprised by any play-through requirements.

North Carolina Sportsbook Bonus FAQs

How old do I need to be to place a sports bet online in North Carolina?

Right now, you must be 21 years of age or older to place a bet at either of North Carolina’s retail sportsbooks. There aren’t any online sportsbooks at this time, but if they ever launch, you’ll need to be the same age to place a bet.

Can you claim a bonus at more than one sportsbook in North Carolina?

Yes, once sportsbooks launch in North Carolina, you’ll be able to claim more than one bonus. However, you can only claim one bonus per sportsbook and per account. Each sportsbook will let you claim their bonus exactly once, allowing you to try out different apps to see which is your favorite. 

What are the play-through requirements for legal online sportsbooks in North Carolina?

Playthrough requirements for future online sportsbooks in North Carolina will vary dramatically. Some bonuses will only require you to play through any site credit once. Others, like DraftKings, may require you to play through the credit 25 times before you can withdraw it as cash. 

What is bonus abuse and how can I avoid it?

Bonus abuse refers to creating a new account over and over with a single sportsbook operator to take advantage of endless free bets. You can get in trouble for doing this, but you can avoid it by creating a single account with each sportsbook operator and only using each bonus offer once.

What is the bonus at DraftKings sportsbook in North Carolina?

DraftKings’ sportsbook in North Carolina will probably have a similar bonus to what it offers in other states: a $50 free bet and a 20% deposit match bonus worth up to $1,000.

What is the bonus at FanDuel sportsbook in North Carolina?

FanDuel’s North Carolina opening bonus will also likely be similar to the bonus it offers elsewhere: a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000, with the credit deposited to your account in five 20% vouchers.

Is there a wager requirement at North Carolina’s sports betting apps?

Sometimes. Some sportsbook apps require you to wager at least $10 to take advantage of an opening bonus. Others require you to use the bonus credit on wagers with specific odds ranges. It all depends on the operator in question.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman is Managing Editor of A recovering attorney, she's spent almost a decade developing and managing websites and writing for a variety of industries. Amber married into a Red Sox family and has embraced the Sox ever since.