Last updated: June 1, 2020
Status:Sports betting is legal at the two tribal casinos in the state. Daily fantasy sports are legal online.
ETA: Sports betting is now legal, however, it is not clear when/if online sports betting will follow suit.
The Senate bill began life in February 2019 and had passed its third reading by April 9. It was then moved to the House where it will replace companion House Bill 302 originally filed by representatives Kevin Corbin, John Bell, Jason Saine and Howard Hunter. With the support of a majority of key lawmakers, the bill is expected to pass swiftly through the House and straight to the Governor’s desk.
The bill essentially adds sports wagering to the list of games that the state’s tribal groups can offer at their casinos. In North Carolina, tribal gaming is offered by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.
The legislation only allows sports betting to be done on site so mobile gaming will not be available. This means bettors will have to travel to Cherokee or Murphy to place sports wagers. Tribal leaders have said they could have operations up and running within 90 days of the bill entering law. Any rules and regulations will be set by the North Carolina Gaming Commission.
The first gambling laws appeared in North Carolina in 1749 when debts greater than $100 were invalidated. These laws were tweaked over the next 40 years before a total ban on gambling was applied in 1791. The exception was lotteries which were occasionally authorized to raise money for good causes. However, they were also banned outright in 1835.
Two greyhound tracks offering pari-mutuel wagering were in operation in the 1940s and 1950s before the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled them as unconstitutional.
In 1945, laws were passed that legalized bingo games at fairs and exhibitions in certain locations. Other counties also allowed bingo gaming for charitable causes. Further laws that allowed charitable raffles in some counties were passed in 1977 before being replaced by a state-wide law in 1979. Today, any officially recognized non-profit organization may operate bingo games for fund-raising purposes. However, a license must be obtained and prizes are limited.
Tribal groups began offering high-stakes bingo in 1982 and built their first casinos after a compact was agreed in 1994. Today, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates two casinos in the state as well as a high stakes bingo parlor.
Video poker machines were very popular in the state, although many were installed illegally. A law passed in 2000 stated no more than three machines were allowed in any one location and no new machines could be installed. They were phased out completely after being banned in 2007.
In 2006, the North Carolina Education Lottery was launched offering lottery draws, scratch cards and multi-state games such as Mega Millions and Powerball games.
All rules and regulations are be set by the North Carolina Gaming Commission.
21 or over
At two Harrah’s casinos in North Carolina
There are a number of tribal casinos operated by Harrah’s.
There are no plans to offer mobile betting.
Representative Corbin suggested sports wagering could have an annual impact on the region of $60-100 million.
5% of gross gaming revenue goes to the state.
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