North Carolina Sports Betting – Legislation, Timeline, and Latest Updates

North Carolina is ready and primed to be a huge market for online sports betting. Until now the state has only offered retail sports betting at two tribal casino locations in the state’s western portion. However, 2023 saw plenty of momentum toward mobile sports betting in the Tar Heel state, ending with a huge legislative victory that will bring up to 12 mobile sportsbooks. As of June 14th, 2023, Governor Roy Cooper signed HB347 allowing mobile sports betting in North Carolina. Sports betting is now legal in the Old North State and could launch as soon as early 2024!

Nearby states such as Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee, among others, have been more aggressive than North Carolina in terms of legalization. This may have put some pressure on North Carolina lawmakers to move towards legalized mobile betting, and residents could see it launch as early as January 2024 if things progress according to plan. 

North Carolina Sports Betting Details
✅ Is Sports Betting Legal in North Carolina?Yes
🚦NC Online Sports Betting Start Date:January 2024 (exact date still pending)
📲 Number of NC Online Sportsbooks:12 (max)
🟢 NC Retail Sports Betting Start DateMarch 18, 2021
🙋‍♂️ Number of NC Retail Sportsbooks3
📜 NC Betting Regulator:North Carolina Lottery Commission
👴 Legal Betting Age in NC:21+
🏫 Legal to Bet On College Sports:Yes

The legislative process began in March 2023 when the House passed HB 347, its version of a bill to legalize sports betting. A few weeks later, the Senate passed an amended version of the House bill, which meant the House had to vote on the changes. On June 6, 2023, the House did just that, approving the Senate’s changes and sending HB 347 to the Governor on a vote of 68-45. The Governor signed the bill into law a few days later, and now sports betting is legal in North Carolina!

Below we will review the sports betting history in North Carolina, the bill in place that could legalize mobile sports betting once and for all, and other ancillary details to make sure bettors know what’s what in NC.

North Carolina Capitol
North Carolina capitol building (Shutterstock)

North Carolina sports betting history

As of 2021, sports betting was officially legalized in North Carolina. However, only in-person at the state’s two tribal casinos.

As we alluded above, HB 347 was first passed through the North Carolina House of Representatives in March 2023. Many believed this would be the biggest obstacle to overcome towards legalized online sports betting in the Tar Heel state. 

North Carolina Sports Betting Mobile

North Carolina’s online sports betting bill details

So, what are some of the details in this North Carolina sports betting bill, HB 347?

The North Carolina Lottery Commission will regulate sports betting. Up to 12 potential online operators will be allowed to take wagers in North Carolina. In addition, eight sports facilities in the state are now authorized to open a retail sports betting lounge. 

Mobile licenses will cost $1 million a year for five years for these online sportsbooks. The 12 mobile operators cannot to accept wagers on mobile if a bettor is on tribal land.

In addition, these operators will be taxed at an annual rate of 18% on their adjusted gross revenue.

Professional, collegiate, and Olympic sports wagering is permitted under this bill.

For a state as integral to college sports as North Carolina, this provision is a home run for its residents and any tourists passing through.

As for the legal online sports betting age? 21. Expect North Carolina to move forward with a pretty standard twenty-one and up age requirement for online wagering.

What’s next?

Now that the bill has passed the legislature and is the law of the land, the regulatory work begins. The Lottery Commission is the regulator of sports betting in the state, but they need several months to get all the rules and guidelines figured out. This is typical of any state that legalizes sports betting, but North Carolina may take a little more than other states to get things set up. Mobile sports betting will not launch in 2023, though it is possible that bettors will be able to fire up their favorite mobile apps before the 2024 Super Bowl.  

The importance of geolocation

All online sports bettors in the United States may be familiar with “geolocation.”

Each sportsbook will use geolocation software to ensure their bettors are within a permitted area to place bets and use their app accordingly.

In order to optimize the use of geolocation, sports should enable a strong WiFi connection or formidable service to prevent any lag. But all in all, bettors will need to be within state borders to ensure there are no issues with your geolocation software.

Sometimes geolocation software can be confused with your location if you are on or near a state border. Therefore, if you are a few miles away from a state border, you should have no issues navigating your sportsbook app.

NC retail sports betting

Retail sports betting began in North Carolina in 2021, however, the locations were limited to the two tribal casinos in the more rural western part of the state. So for the majority of sports bettors in North Carolina, nothing really changed despite betting being legal in the state. 

Both tribal casinos are Harrah’s properties, meaning they are now home to Caesars Sportsbook venues. These casinos are Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River.

North Carolina retail sportsbooks

Charlotte, NC sports betting

There is a third tribal casino, Catawba Two Kings, which has also launched a self-branded sports betting facility: Catawba Two Kings Sportsbook. The big deal with the Catawba Sportsbook is that it’s not out in the rural mountain areas. The Catawba Casino and sportsbook is just 35 miles west of downtown Charlotte, NC – the largest city in the state. By hopping on I-85 Charlotte residents can get to a legal sportsbook in under an hour. 

North Carolina CasinoRetail SportsbookLocation
Harrah's Cherokee Casino ResortCaesars Sportsbook777 Casino Drive
Cherokee, NC 28719
Harrah's Cherokee Valley RiverCaesars Sportsbook777 Casino Parkway
Murphy, NC 28906
Catawba Two KingsCatawba Two Kings Sportsbook538 Kings Mountain Blvd.
Kings Mountain, NC 28086

Potential North Carolina online sportsbooks

The deal isn’t even signed yet, so this is all speculative, but with room for up to 12 sportsbooks in North Carolina, there’s going to be significant opportunity. With opportunity, comes the big names in US online sports betting. Expect all of the following to get involved in North Carolina, once able. Once legalized, we’ll update this section when we get confirmed North Carolina market access deals.

(1) FanDuel Sportsbook NC

Off of name recognition alone, many North Carolinians will be familiar with the sports betting conglomerate. Not only is FanDuel Sportsbook already active in North Carolina with their DFS app, but they are one of the biggest and more successful sportsbooks in all of the United States.

(2) DraftKings Sportsbook NC

DraftKings Sportsbook is one of the more prominent brands in the sports betting industry. Like FanDuel, DraftKings is already a DFS operator in the Tarheel State. DraftKings is typically very aggressive, with states preparing to launch sports betting in the past. There’s no doubt that they will offer betting in North Carolina once permitted.

(3) Caesars Sportsbook NC

We expect Caesars Sportsbook North Carolina to be all over this launch. They are already active in the state’s two retail sportsbooks, so the transition should be an easy one. They’re a force to be reckoned with nationwide, and already have a leg up on the competition in-state. What more could you ask for?

(4) BetMGM Sportsbook NC

BetMGM Sportsbook North Carolina is one of the fastest-growing sportsbooks in the United States. Having been available in Virginia and Tennessee, we expect BetMGM is a solid contender to join North Carolina upon launch.

(5) Bet365 Sportsbook NC

bet365 Sportsbook North Carolina is the most experienced online betting site in the market, having honed its craft for years in Europe before expanding to the United States. Bet365 will bring a prominent welcome offer, a dazzling betting app, and competitive prices to North Carolina.

The Latest North Carolina Sports Betting News

Professional Sports Teams in NC

Carolina HurricanesNHL
Carolina PanthersNFL
Charlotte HornetsNBA
Charotte FCMLS

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers 2022 watching experience was a cathartic one. They made solid upgrades along the offensive line, including 6th overall selection Ikem Ekwonu and returned most of the production from the 2nd best defense in the NFL in terms of yards per game.

However, the quarterback position continued to be a mess and led to the firing of head coach Matt Rhule.

Carolina has since hired former Indianapolis head coach Frank Reich to assume head man responsibilities in Charlotte. And his first major move as a head coach was a splash.

The weekend before free agency was set to kick off, Carolina elected to trade up from pick number nine to the first overall pick. Along with pick 9, Carolina shipped away pick 61, 2024 first round pick, 2025 second round pick, and wide receiver DJ Moore.

And with that first overall pick, the Carolina Panthers selected Bryce Young to be their QB of the future. Things are looking up for the Panthers, whom many expect to have a good season in 2023.

Carolina Hurricanes

The Hurricanes just fell short of trying to win their first Stanley Cup since their lone title run in 2005-06 behind the heroics of Cam Ward.

The Hurricanes have boasted one of the best teams in hockey during head coach Rod Brind’Amour’s tenure. But they haven’t quite broken through just yet – under the leadership of Sebastian Aho, Andrei Svechnikov and Jaccob Slavin, they’ll look to change that.

In the 2023 season, Carolina did very well, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals before coming up short against the surprising Florida Panthers. In the 2023-2024 season they will continue to be neck-and-neck with the New Jersey Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division – Carolina will need to go through the likes of Boston, the Rangers, Lightning, and Panthers, among other potential contenders, to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets were a disaster this past season, but they do have the #2 overall draft pick in the upcoming draft. It seems all the attention is focused on what should be a loaded 2023 NBA Draft class. The headline in this class is French prospect Victor Wembanyama, who will likely head to San Antonio as the #1 overall pick. The Hornets could pick Scoot Henderson and Brandon Miller with the #2 selection. Whoever they pick has to immediately make an impact. This team needs help!

In other news, Michael Jordan recently sold his majority stake of the Hornets, so we’ll see if the franchise has more success under a new regime.

Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC is the newest pro sports team in the state. The team has taken the city of Charlotte by storm, drawing NFL-sized crowds to its home matches at Bank of America Stadium. The team has done decently well so far in its 2023 campaign, holding its own against the top MLS sides as it competes for its first playoff appearance. Win or lose, Charlotte FC has become a very popular team in the state’s largest city.

North Carolina college teams

UNC Tar HeelsNCAA Basketball
Duke Blue DevilsNCAA Basketball
NC State WolfpackNCAA Football
Wake Forest Demon DeaconsNCAA Football

UNC Tar Heels

The University of North Carolina is coming off a special year.

2022 was the first year without Roy Williams since 2003 for the Tar Heels, and they were just minutes away from hoisting the NCAAB national championship.

The regular season presented some roadblocks, but they made a nice surge into the tournament, including a win over Duke in Coach K’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Tar Heels made the tournament as an eighth seed, stormed through their region, and won a rematch against Duke in the Final Four.

UNC did not rebound well off the title loss. Despite bringing back the same nucleus of Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, and RJ Davis, UNC missed the NCAA Tournament. They are the first NCAA runner-up to miss the Tournament the very next year since 1985.

Duke Blue Devils

The Duke Blue Devils basketball team underwent one of the more magnified seasons in NCAA history.

Legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski announced before the season that 2021 would be his final one. As the postseason inched closer, each game was over the national landscape.

And after faltering in Coach K’s final game in Cameroon Indoor and the ACC Championship, there were plenty of doubters.

However, the basketball team righted their wrongs and marched onto the Final Four. Duke followed this up winning the ACC Conference Tournament title under head coach Jon Scheyer in his first season. Scheyer and co. lost in the Round of 32 to Tennessee.

NC State Wolfpack

NC State is coming off a solid year on the gridiron. The college football team finished with a 8-5 record, and they received a bid to the Duke’s Mayo Bowl. Under head coach Dave Doeren, the Wolfpack have made a bowl game in eight of his ten seasons.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

In 2022, Wake Forest’s football team had a storied year. They marched on to their first ACC title game against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Although they fell short, they went on to win 11 games, tying a school record.

In 2023, the Deacs finished 8-5, including a win in the Union Home Mortgage Gasparilla Bowl over Missouri. Under head coach Dave Clawson, the Demon Deacons have made seven straight bowl games. 

Other Division 1 programs in NC 

Appalachian State MountaineersSun Belt
Campbell Fighting CamelsBig South
Charlotte 49ersC-USA
Davidson WildcatsAtlantic 10
East Carolina PiratesAmerican Athletic
Elon PhoenixCAA
Gardner-Webb Runnin’ BulldogsBig South
High Point PanthersBig South
North Carolina A&T AggiesBig South
North Carolina Central EaglesMEAC
UNC Asheville BulldogsBig South
UNC Greensboro SpartansSoCon
UNC Wilmington SeahawksCAA
Western Carolina CatamountsSoCon

North Carolina sports betting promotions

As online sports betting creeps closer to legalization, sports bettors in North Carolina need to familiarize themselves with sports betting promotions. Sportsbooks will try to entice users to come on their book with welcome bonuses that include intriguing promotions.

(1) First bet refund in North Carolina

Many sportsbooks will offer first bet refund in the form of bonus bets or bet credits to entice users to join as they are the most common sign up promotion. 

First bet refunds are simple – they can act as insurance if you lose your first bet with your new sportsbook. For example, let’s say a sportsbook offers a first bet refund for up to $50. You decide to place $50 on the Panthers Moneyline. You win the bet? Great, end of story. Enjoy your winnings. You lose? You will receive a $50 Bonus Bet. We will explain bonus bets in the following header. 

Once online sports betting is approved, and goes live in North Carolina, there will be plenty of first bet refund promotions to take advantage of.

(2) North Carolina bonus bet

Bonus bets are given to new and existing customers to reward their loyalty and continue playing on their sportsbooks.

You can think of bonus bets essentially as credits. If you have a credit in North Carolina, you can use this to wager. If you lose, you don’t lose any real money. However, you will win whatever that payout would reward if you win. Let’s go over an example.

You have a $50 bonus bet and decide to place it on the Hornets spread at -110 odds. A $50 wager at -110 odds would potentially pay you out $95.95 with a profit of $45.45 plus your original $50 stake back. Typically speaking with bonus bets, you would not receive your initial stake back as a payout in a bonus bet. So, in this example, if you lose, you do not lose any real money, but your bonus bet is gone. If you win, you would win $45.45 that is now yours to keep – withdraw – bet with, etc. 

On some rare occasions bonus bets will return the original stake – so keep an eye out for those.

(3) Deposit match

A deposit match bonus is pretty much what it sounds like.

Sportsbooks will offer a deposit match bonus up to a certain amount of money. So, for example, a sportsbook may offer up to a $200 deposit match. If you deposit $200 into your account, the sportsbook would match that deposit with $200 in credits.

Usually, you will need to follow through on a playthrough requirement where you wager your bonus bets, but ultimately at the end of the day, it’s money to bet with.

Possible betting markets available in NC

A market is a bet that will be available at a sportsbook. One of the great parts of the proliferation of sportsbooks around the United States is the ability to shop for different prices in similar markets.

For example, you may like the Panthers’ moneyline against the Falcons for the upcoming week. On one sportsbook, it may offer you -110 odds, and another may offer you greater odds at +100, which would give you a bigger payout. These are examples of similar markets at different prices. Below is a list of the most common markets you can bet on in sportsbooks.

  1. Spread
  2. Moneyline
  3. Over/under
  4. Prop bets
  5. Futures
  6. Teaser
  7. Parlay
  8. Live/in-game

Banking Options for NC sportsbooks

When sportsbooks come flooding into North Carolina, you will have most, if not all, of these banking options to deposit into your account and withdraw your winnings.

  • AHC eCheck
  • Bank wire transfer
  • Cash at the casino cage
  • Online banking
  • PayNearMe
  • PayPal
  • Play+ prepaid card
  • Skrill
  • Visa/Mastercard

North Carolina Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?

Yes! Sports betting IS legal in North Carolina, though, only in-person right now. Retail wagering began in 2021 and there is an expectation that mobile wagering could be available by January 2024. Now that HB 347 is the law of the land, sports betting is fully legal in the Tar Heel State – online AND in-person, but we will still have to wait a few months before placing our wagers online.

What is the legal sports betting age in North Carolina?

The legal sports betting age in North Carolina is 21. Once approved for online betting, the 21 and up number should carry over for mobile wagering too

When will mobile sports betting become operational in North Carolina?

Once online sports betting is approved, it usually takes a number of months and sometimes even years to launch online sportsbooks. Right now it looks like mobile betting will launch in the state sometime in early 2024, possibly before the Super Bowl.

Responsible Gaming Resources

When you bet on sports, it’s possible go down a rabbit hole of bad habits. Sports betting is at its best when it serves as a piece of entertainment, nothing more. Like going out to a movie or watching some Netflix, it’s best when it’s done in moderation. When sports betting gets past that point, there are plenty of responsible gaming resources available that you can tap into. These are great resources for people who may be battling an addiction, but these tools aren’t just for addicts:

(1) Self-exclusion list

Bettors in North Carolina can place themselves on a self-exclusion list if betting is becoming too tempting. If you are trying not to gamble, you can place yourself on a self-exclusion list which would ban you from using their sportsbook app for an allotted period of time.

(2) Deposit and session limits

Deposit and session limits are a great tool sportsbooks offer for all users. Bettors have the ability to limit the amount of money and time they expend on a sportsbook app. 

(3) Helplines

If you have a gambling addiction or feel you are trending in that direction, there are helplines you can call or text if you think you have an ongoing problem. Trained professionals are available to talk to you and help you receive your support.

For more information about problem gambling in North Carolina and other states, visit the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)’s treatment/resource finder by state.

  • Call the NCPG: 1-800-522-4700 (24-hour confidential national helpline)
  • Text the NCPG: 1-800-522-4700 (24-hour confidential national text service)
  • Chat with the NCPG: (24-hour confidential national chat service)

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