North Carolina Sports Betting

Last updated: May 11, 2023

Governor Roy Cooper signed SB 154 in July 2019, allowing North Carolina to legalize retail sports betting through gaming compacts with Native American tribes. After signing deals with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Nation, there are three retail sportsbooks live in NC. Two of these are operated by Caesars Sportsbook.

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While retail sports betting is available in North Carolina, online sports betting is still illegal. Online sports betting has support from local major league franchises, and lawmakers have tried to pass legislation, but disagreements over college sports betting have halted progress. The earliest online sports betting can be legalized is in 2023, which would set up a late 2023 or early 2024 launch.

To learn more about betting legally in North Carolina, check out our expert guide below. You’ll find an overview of all the legal betting options in NC, including the three retail sportsbooks and out-of-state alternatives.

North Carolina Legislation Timeline

May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court determines that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 is unconstitutional and overturns the bill. This means that individual states can determine the legality of sports betting. 

July 26, 2019: SB 154 is signed by North Carolina Gov. Cooper, allowing sports betting on tribal lands. Discussions start between lawmakers and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to update the gaming compacts to include sports betting.

December 3, 2020: North Carolina lawmakers and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians agree on new gaming compacts. This allows for retail sportsbooks to launch at two Harrah’s properties in the west of NC. Both parties wait for the Federal Register to publish the compact so sports betting in North Carolina can launch. 

January 21, 2021: Gov. Cooper unexpectedly agrees to a new gaming compact including sports betting with the Catawba Nation. The Catawba Nation proposes a new casino at Kings Mountain, located just outside Charlotte. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians appeals against this ruling, but all the appeals fail.

March 2, 2021: The new gaming compact for the Eastern Tribe of Cherokee Indians becomes valid, and the tribe can launch its retail sportsbooks.

March 18, 2021: Caesars Sportsbook opens retail betting locations at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. 

August 21, 2021: The Senate votes to approve SB 688, a bill to legalize online sports betting in NC. 

June 22, 2022: After nine months of tweaking, SB 688 reaches the House floor. Unfortunately for North Carolina bettors, the bill dies on the floor after disagreements over college sports betting. SB 688 loses by a vote of 51-50. 

September 6, 2022: The Catawba Nation’s Two Kings Casino opens its retail sportsbook in time for the 2022 NFL season.

Popular Sports to Bet on in NC

North Carolina is best known in the US for its college basketball, with the teams like the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke University Blue Devils regularly winning national championships. However, there are also three major league sports teams that get plenty of support.

NFL Betting in North Carolina

The NFL is very popular in North Carolina, as the state is home to the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have been based in Charlotte since 1996, after first launching in South Carolina. Despite being one of the newest teams in the NFL, the Panthers have been successful, making it to the Super Bowl twice. However, the team was beaten by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII and the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50.

Every retail sportsbook in North Carolina will offer betting on the NFL and the Carolina Panthers, with moneylines, totals, and point spreads available for every game. You’ll also find player props on your favorite athletes pre-game and in-play.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is the official betting partner of the Carolina Panthers and provides exclusive rewards for bettors in its Caesars Rewards program, like free tickets and stadium trips. 

NBA Betting in North Carolina

The Charlotte Hornets launched in the NBA in 1988 but have had a disrupted history since first taking to the court. The original Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans in 2002 after fans started to turn on the franchise’s owner, leaving the NC without an NBA team. However, North Carolina was granted an expansion franchise, the Charlotte Bobcats, in 2004.

The team was bought by one of the greatest basketball players ever, Micahel Jordan, who petitioned the league to get the Hornets’ name back. The Bobcats changed to the Hornets in 2014, with the old Hornets team in New Orleans changing to the Pelicans.

With all those struggles off the court, it is not surprising the Hornets haven’t been particularly successful. However, the team has plenty of talented players like LaMelo Ball and hopes for a brighter future. 

All sportsbooks in NC will provide betting markets for every NBA game, including the regular and postseason. You can also place future bets in the offseason on players to win the MVP award and teams to claim the NBA Championship.

MLB Betting in North Carolina

The MLB is the only big four league not represented in North Carolina, but there are still thousands of NC sports fans interested in baseball. However, there are minor league baseball teams like the High-A Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Triple-A Durham Bulls which attract baseball plenty of support. You may not find betting markets for minor league baseball at NC sportsbooks. 

The three retail sportsbooks in North Carolina all offer a wide range of MLB betting, from season-long future bets to single-game bets like moneylines, spreads, and totals. Sportsbooks also offer alternative betting markets, such as the number of strikeouts and first to x runs. 

NHL Betting in North Carolina

The only team from North Carolina to have won a major league championship are the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL. The Hurricanes have played in Carolina since 1997 and reached the sport’s summit in 2006, beating the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup. The team also has won two conference championships and five division championships.

The Carolina Hurricanes have been a vocal supporter of legal sports betting in NC, declaring an interest in launching a retail sportsbook at its PNC Stadium when sports betting legislation allows this.  

North Carolina sportsbooks provide a wide range of markets on the NHL, with dozens of different bet types available for every game. 

NCAA Betting in North Carolina

College sports are as big, if not bigger, than major league sports in North Carolina. The rivalry between Duke and the Tar Heels in basketball is legendary, and some of the best players in NBA history have started at these colleges. Big names include Michael Jordan, Grant Hill, and Tim Duncan.

However, it is not just about college basketball, as college football, baseball, and hockey also draw plenty of attention. All of these college events are available for betting at NC retail sportsbooks. There are also no restrictions on betting on in-state teams or placing player props like in other states. If online sports betting is legalized, you may get fewer betting options as lawmakers put in restrictions to protect young athletes.

Where Can I Bet on Sports in North Carolina

Sports betting is legal in North Carolina, with retail sportsbooks operated by tribes through updated gaming compacts. There are two retail sportsbooks in the west of NC and one in Kings Mountain. Check out our overviews of everywhere you can bet in the Tarheel State.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

The first tribal casino to open a sportsbook in North Carolina was Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, launching Caesars Sportsbook on March 18, 2021. The Caesars Sportsbook at this casino has dozens of betting windows and kiosks, a 90-foot game wall showing the latest action, and a bunch of widescreen screens showing live sports. The casino is a three-hour drive from Charlotte and has plenty to offer players who choose to visit. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River

The Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino is even further west than Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, closer to Chattanooga in Tennessee than Charlotte. However, there are excellent betting facilities operated by Caesars Sportsbook for anyone that visits. There are huge TV screens covering the latest sports events, comfortable reclining seating, and nearby bars and restaurants. 

Placing bets at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River can earn points towards the Caesars Rewards program, which you can use to redeem real-life prizes in the casino, like meals and drinks.

Catawba Two Kings Casino

The third sportsbook in North Carolina is at the Catawba Two Kings Casino, which opened in the fall of 2022. The Two Kings Casino is much more accessible to most residents in NC and operates 24/7. Rather than partnering with one of the big sportsbook brands in the US, the casino provides its own sports betting markets, odds, and promotions. 

There are 30 betting kiosks or several betting windows, and you can get a good view of TVs from anywhere in the sportsbook. Bettors can also easily access the casino’s other amenities, like bars and restaurants. 

Bordering States

North Carolina has a border with four states, and two of these jurisdictions have legalized online sports betting. If you want to place online sports bets, you just need to cross the border and sign up with a licensed sportsbook. 


Sports betting was legalized in Tennessee on May 24, 2019, but bettors had to wait 18 long months until sportsbooks launched. On November 1, 2020, online sports betting went live, and there are currently 11 licensed online sportsbooks like FanDuel, DraftKings, and SuperBook. Tennessee is one of the few states with a mobile exclusive sports betting market, with all betting sites overseen by the Tennessee Sports Wagering Advisory Council. 


Lawmakers in Virginia legalized sports betting in April 2020, with sports betting going live in January 2021. Several online sportsbooks are available, including brands like SI Sportsbook and Unibet. While retail sports betting is legal, it can only launch at land-based casinos. There are currently no casinos in VA, although many are under construction. 


There is no legal sports betting in Georgia, but there were close failed attempts to pass legislation in 2021 and 2022. Sports betting may launch in GA in the future. 

South Carolina

Sports betting is not legal in South Carolina, and this seems unlikely to change. High-profile politicians like Governor Henry McMaster have publicly voiced their disapproval of sports betting. 

North Carolina Sporting Events

Carolina-Duke Basketball

The basketball rivalry between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Duke Blue Devils is often voted as one of the most intense in all US sports. The two teams are separated by less than ten miles over  Highway 15-501, known as Tobacco Road. Both teams are consistent contenders for national championships, with the Tar Heels winning six NCAA Tournaments and Duke winning five. The Tar Heels lead the all-time series. 

Coca Cola 600

The Coca Cola 600 is NASCAR’s longest-distance event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This 600-mile event is held annually on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, and up to 100,000 fans descend on Concord, North Carolina, to watch this great racing spectacle. The race has run every year since 1960, and winners include all-time NASCAR greats such as Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt, and Jeff Gordon. 

Darrell Waltrip has the most wins of any driver after finishing the race on top five times. Two of these wins came for Hendrick Motorsports in 1988 and 1989. Hendrick Motorsports have claimed more wins than any other team in these races, with 12 victories.

Duke’s Mayo Bowl

The Duke’s Mayo Bowl is a college football game that takes place every year at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Previously known as the Belk Bowl, this match-up features one team from the ACC and one from the Big Ten Conference or the SEC. 

The North Carolina Tar Heels have appeared the most times in this bowl game but have amassed a poor 1-4 record. The team with the most wins is the University of Virginia Cavaliers, with three victories in three appearances. Previous MVPs of the game include NFL standouts like Dak Prescott and Nick Chubb.


Retail sports betting is currently legal in North Carolina and available at three tribal casinos. Lawmakers have attempted to legalize sports betting but haven’t agreed on how to regulate college sports betting. However, there is strong support for state-wide betting from NC major league sports teams, like the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes.

Yes, Pari-mutuel horse racing betting is legal, but there are no off-track betting locations in North Carolina. In addition, the three retail sportsbooks are permitted to offer pari-mutuel betting, but so far, none have launched this type of wagering. Online horse racing betting is prohibited in NC.

You can legally place bets on sports in North Carolina if you visit one of the three retail sportsbooks permitted to offer betting through gaming compacts. In addition, you can enjoy regular gambling with slots and table games at these locations and other casinos throughout NC. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) and a state lottery are available.

No, you can’t use DraftKings Sportsbook in North Carolina because online sports betting is illegal. However, you can play DraftKings’ DFS games in NC if you are 18 or older. You can also visit North Carolina’s neighboring states, Tennessee and Virginia if you want to bet with DraftKings. However, you will only be able to place bets and make withdrawals while in a state where online sports betting is legal.

You must be 21 or older to place sports bets at one of the retail sportsbooks in North Carolina. The casinos where you can find these sportsbooks will ask you to provide a photo ID to prove your age before you bet. You also need to be 21 to play any casino games, but you can enjoy DFS games if you are 18 or over.

No, you can’t use BetMGM in North Carolina, as online sports betting is not legal. However, you can legally travel to states where BetMGM is licensed and place bets. Nearby options for NC bettors include Virginia and Tennessee.

FanDuel Sportsbook is not available in North Carolina because online sports betting is not available in the Tar Heel State. Residents of North Carolina can play FanDuel’s popular DFS tournaments but will have to travel to neighboring Tennessee or Virginia to use FanDuel’s sportsbook app. 

The Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission currently oversees sports betting activities in the three casino sportsbooks in North Carolina. If online sports betting is legalized in NC, the state will need to choose a new regulatory body to ensure every betting site is safe. In a failed attempt to legalize betting in 2022, the North Carolina Education Lottery was proposed as the new overseeing body.


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