North Carolina has a rich history with sports in its state, especially when it comes to college sports. When it comes to gambling, however, the laws do not match up with the general feeling around sports or other gaming. This page will serve as a reference point on all the gambling laws in North Carolina today and what changes if any residents could see in coming years.
Sports Betting in North Carolina
As we mentioned, sports are very popular in North Carolina, especially college basketball. With two perennial powerhouses in Duke and UNC only a few miles apart, you can imagine the rivalry that cuts right through the heart of the residents. However, when that excitement turns to betting, there are no legal outlets for sports wagering in the state. This is not shocking, though, as there has not been any legal batting outside Nevada for decades. This all changed in May 2018 when the law banning sports betting was overturned, but for the time being there are still no places for eager North Carolinians to bet on their favorite teams.
Online Sports Betting
As with gamblers in many states, sports bettors in North Carolina have turned to illegal forms of gambling to get their sports bets in. This means in many cases using one of the online sportsbooks that have been accepting players from the U.S. for years. This industry grew out of the desire of Americans to gamble, and it has survived many attempts to shut it down. So far, unfortunately it seems that North Carolinians will be stuck with this option despite its risk and illegality. Of course the best would be for the State of North Carolina to update its sports betting laws like so many states have done or are doing. Hopefully the legislators will see the value in protecting their population from illegal offshore sportsbooks and will allow a legal way to gamble and raise taxes for state programs.
Horse Betting in North Carolina
Well here is an interesting twist – it is legal to race horses in North Carolina, but you aren’t allowed to bet on them. This does seem as though it is a bit confusing of a stand to take on the sport – why run the races in the first place if there isn’t going to be betting on them? At any rate, this is how it sits for now, and it doesn’t look like there is any chance of that changing.
Online Horse Betting
Most states do not have online horse betting regulated for their own tracks, but in those cases, players can find solace in one of the many online sites that are licensed in Oregon and still are able to take players from other states. However, given the stance of the North Carolina government on horse betting, companies like Twinspires and DRFBEts do not allow residents of this state create accounts and wager with them. So for now, North Carolina horse racing fans are out of options for places to bet.
Casino Gambling in North Carolina
The state has taken a very conservative approach to casino gambling as well, despite the fact that other states hurried to make compacts with tribal nations so that hey could offer casinos. This didn’t happen in North Carolina until the mid-1990s, and even then the first “casino” parlor wasn’t allowed to have table games. It took all the way until 2012 before there was an agreement to extend the gaming laws to include table games, and finally, there is a full casino in the state.
Online Casinos in North Carolina
So, where did North Carolinians who wanted to play table games and slots turn when there was no option locally? Well, some would take trips to neighboring states to find games, but many simply chose to stay at home and open an online casino account. Obviously, just like online sports betting, this is unadvisable and a bad idea. The risks of playing with offshore casinos are too great and for players’s sake, it would be wise for North Carolina to start allowing legal online casinos to operate.
Lottery in North Carolina
Good news! The lottery is open for business and vibrant in North Carolina. The North Carolina Education Lottery was established in the late 1980s, and as the name suggests, the proceeds from lottery games in the state go to help fund educational programs across the state. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been generated over the years from draw games like Powerball and also from the hundreds of different scratch ticket available at retailers. Whether you want the instant gratification of winning a scratch game or want to win the life-changing money of a massive draw, the North Carolina Lottery has you covered.
North Carolina Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Sports betting is not legal in any establishment in North Carolina as of yet. The best option for North Carolinians looking to bet on sports is to visit Las Vegas or maybe take the shorter route and go gamble in one of the many sportsbooks of New Jersey. Thankfully, there is likely to be some movement on that front in the future – the repeal of the sports betting prohibition in 2018 has opened the door for the state legislature to contemplate legalizing the pastime.
When will sports betting be legal in North Carolina?
It is difficult to predict exactly when the gaming laws will change to allow regulated sports betting in North Carolina, but when we try to make a guess, we look at states nearby for influence. Given how many states are considering sports betting legislation in the 2019 session, we suspect it won’t be too long before the government in North Carolina follows suit. While we don’t think there will be sports betting operations until early 2020, we do think there is a good chance that legislation will pass in 2019.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of North Carolina?
Until the laws are updated, we can only speak in generalities but we think the best online sportsbook for residents of North Carolina are those that offer the most betting options for college sports. With the fever pitch at which people cheer for the North Carolina college athletics programs, finding a site that caters to that betting public is the number one draw from residents of North Carolina.
Another thing that players from North Carolina will need to consider is the Welcome Bonus offered by the gambling site. This is the first chance a site gets to entice you to play, so these offers tend to be higher than anything else you will find on the site. We also recommend sites that have a great loyalty or VIP program – you want to be rewarded for being a loyal player, and with so many competitors out there, more casinos are investing in retention as much as they are attracting new players.
When we review a site, we look at many factors, but one of the most important is how many complaints have they faced on player forums. Now, people sometimes go onto these sites to complain just because they lost money and are upset, so we dig into each complaint to see if it is legitimate. Once we can tell which are just whiny players, we make our determination and recommendation.