Sports Betting in North Carolina Is a Step Closer Following Compact Amendment

Al Walsh

Sports gambling in North Carolina has been legitimate for over a year now, but residents’ legal ways to bet on sports are not possible. Since Governor Cooper signed SB 154, transitioning the bill into law in July 2019, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians gained rights to run bookmakers at their two gaming clubs. That did not mean it was the last time cooper was signing off sports betting.

Instead, the signed law needed several amendments, including a tribal compact that involved North Carolina sports betting details, to be approved by the governor before heading to the Interior Department. According to Cherokee One Feather, the Cherokee’s Tribal Council met last week and approved the suggested amendments after much delay from the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the state is taking one step towards sports wagering, it seems like betting in North Carolina is likely to happen in March during the March Madness event. That means by the time the Super Bowl event is happening, and sports gambling might still be impossible.

What’s North Carolina Sports Gambling Timeline?

The regional vice president of marketing, Brian Saunooke, for Harrah’s Cherokee, told LSR that it was hard to guess when sports gambling could commence in North Carolina without knowing when cooper could sign the amended tribal compact. He added that the governor’s office did not indicate when they might sign the amended law.

Moreover, even after the governor signs the law, the Interior Department will take another 45 days to accept changes made to the law. Considering there is no sign that the timeframe might be shortened, North Carolina residents have to wait until an official publication is made in the Federal Register allowing sports gambling.

Are Sportsbooks in NC Ready to Offer Sports Wagering Services?

Saunooke has confirmed that the building of the intended two sportsbooks in the two casinos is complete. He added that some key employees who will take over the running of the sportsbooks were already identified. Saunooke, however, refused to mention the operators that will supply the two sportsbooks with sports betting.

This, however, might not be a secret considering Cherokee runs their casinos under Caesars that recently agreed to buy William Hill that will be operating all sports betting at all Caesar’s establishments. The two bookmakers in the Cherokee casinos are also referred to as The Book, the common name used by Caesars-run books on the company’s portfolio.

North Carolina Won’t Have Mobile Betting

Placing a bet in North Carolina will not be easy, considering the two Harrah’s Cherokee sportsbooks’ locations are far from the state’s main cities. The two bookmakers are on the southwestern edge of NC, which means residents might instead benefit from mobile gambling in Tennessee rather than drive to southwestern to bet.

Those on the northern side of NC are likely to take advantage of sports wagering in Virginia, as the state will likely legalize over internet sports betting in mid-January. Harrah’s Cherokee Resort is two hours south of Knoxville, Tennessee, and three from Charlotte. The other casino, Valley River in Murphy, is about 2.5 hours to Knoxville and two hours from Atlanta, Georgia.