North Carolina

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At the heart of gambling in North Carolina is a duopoly held by two casinos. These two casinos are tribal, massive and both owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Key Points:

  • Commercial casinos are prohibited.
  • Tribal casinos are permitted to operate slots, table games and gaming machines.
  • Charitable organisations are permitted to operate bingo and raffles.
  • North Carolina Education Lottery is the sole issuer of lottery products for both online and through outlets.
  • The State does not permit onshore operated online casinos. However there are offshore operators that accept players from North Carolina.
  • The State does not permit onshore operating sportsbooks.
  • The minimum age for any form of gambling is 21.

As one would expect, the two casinos offer the usual table casino gaming: blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, class II slot machines and other table games. Don’t be drawn into thinking the casinos are small because there are only two in the state, these two casinos are huge and can be compared with the grandeur of Las Vegas.

And, only just permitted this year, the two casinos are legally allowed to accept sport bets!

These turn of events occurred as a result of several factors:

Firstly, prior to this year, separate Gaming Commissions were established for boxing, lottery, table games, bingo and other gaming. It was put forward that one North Carolina Gaming Commission would streamline and benefit the state.

Secondly, the overturning of the Federal ban on sports betting by the Supreme court allowed each individual state to dictate their position on sports betting. This gave momentum for North Carolina to include sports betting as a tribal Class III game.

Surprisingly Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was struck down from the proposition of sports betting. It was deemed to be online or mobile betting, which is not permitted. It was also deemed to be a game of luck, and NOT a game of skill and therefore under state law is defined as gambling. Nevertheless, it was interesting to note that the senate admitted that DFS is being offered and played by North Carolina Players in an unregulated and unlicensed framework.

So North Carolina Players there is nothing stopping you from playing online!

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North Carolina Online Gambling

The legality for online gambling in North Carolina is a mixed bag. Some forms of online gambling are clearly articulated as illegal and clearly not allowed, some are illegal yet allowed, and some are distinctly legal.

Online Bingo is allowed and accepted by offshore bingo sites, but whether or not they are legal, is a grey area of the law. North Carolina uniquely offers Beach Bingo, a term which means profiting businesses that operate bingo. Hence, if you want to run a Bingo Hall as a business in North Carolina it is legal. Whether or not this extends to running an online bingo site, it is unclear.

Online casino legality is questionable, however offshore casino sites are able and willing to accept North Carolina players. This is similar to many other US states that have their online gambling laws in limbo, and therefore offshore online casinos can accept US Players.

Daily Fantasy Sport was attempted to be passed by a bill that also legalized sports betting. Unfortunately DFS could not garner enough support and the bill was struck down. Arguments against legalization included: DFS is online sports betting which is illegal, DFS is a game of luck and not skill and therefore falls in the definition of gambling. Oddly, there was recognition by the senate that Players of North Carolina freely and without repercussion play at DraftKing and FanDuel. So, what the heck, why not continue to play when even the politicians say it’s ok.

Online Poker is illegal in North Carolina.

Online sports betting is illegal. There were attempts to legalize online and mobile sports betting in July 19 but was struck down.

North Carolina ranks as the 14th in the US for playing at offshore online casinos. Wagering an estimated $18.5 million per year, it ranks just above Maryland and behind Georgia. The state with the largest wagering for offshore online casino is California at $180 million.

Overview of North Carolina Casinos

North Carolina has 2 casinos in which you’ll find more than 4,330 slots and gaming machines. There are a total of 170 table games.

North Carolina Casinos

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino

777 Casino Drive, Cherokee, North Carolina
Gaming includes a 20-table smoke-free poker room, 100 table games, and 3,280 video gaming machines. This casino is larger that many expect. Only just recently renovated, this place is rocking, especially on the weekends. Just a warning, that at peak times it can become extremely crowded. Great gaming experience and highly recommended.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino

Valley River Casino, 777 Casino Parkway, Murphy, North Carolina
The 50,000 square foot casino floor features 1,050 slots and video poker machines, offering a mix of old favorites and cutting edge, new to market games. Table players will have 70 tables to choose from including blackjack, roulette, and craps tables. Staff provide a very good service, and the casino is lively and entertaining.


State Lottery

The North Carolina lottery is officially named as the North Carolina Education Lottery (NCEL). It is one of the newest established lottery commissions in the US, only founded in 2005. As the official name suggests all proceeds from the state lottery contribute to the states education infrastructure projects and development. Annually over $500 million is raised through lottery games, of which approximately 60% is returned to ticket winners as prize money, 30% directly to education initiatives and the remaining 10% for administration and operational expenses.

The games that the NCEL offers include the inter-state lottery of Powerball and Mega Millions. State local lottery is also offered.

Slot Machines

Owning a slot machines for private use is permitted in North Carolina if it is 25 years old or more. The laws allow the ownership of slot machines for the purposes of a “hobby”, and clearly prohibit the use of slot machines for the purposes of running a business.

Gambling Laws

North Carolina law defines gambling as a game of luck and not skill. Hence many arguments classifying gambling games revolve around whether a game requires skill (or not). If a game does not require any skill, then it could be regarded as gambling and therefore illegal if specifically not exempted in law. Those who are found breaching the law could be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor.

A Lawyer’s Opinion

North Carolina has strict gambling laws with most forms being outlawed except for a handful of casinos where slot machines can be found, the state lottery, and fantasy sports wagering. North Carolina Code – General Statutes 37.

Sports Betting: Online betting on fantasy sports is now legal in North Carolina, permitting FanDuel, DraftKings and others to operate within the state so long as they follow the regulations on operation. General sportsbook making, however, remains prohibited. Thus, individuals who wish to make online sportsbooks, thus, must do so through platforms operating outside of the state.

Race Betting: Unlike in many states, horse and dog race betting is illegal in North Carolina. Thus, individuals who wish to make race bets must do online must do so through platforms operating outside of the state.

Online Gambling: Online gambling, including participation in poker rooms, is not permitted in the state of North Carolina. Thus, individuals wishing to participate in online gambling, including poker and other such games of skill, must place bets online through platforms operating outside of the state. Given the state’s strict stance on gambling, it is unlikely it will be one of the first to permit its online counterparts.

Online Gaming: Skill games are permitted, with online platforms like WorldWinner and others accepting North Carolina residents.

FAQ

Which online casinos are offered in North Carolina?

There are no local online casino operators in North Carolina. There are only offshore online casino operators, of which you can trust the large, established big brands. GambleDex recommends the big brand names of online casinos: Bovada, Slots.lv and Vegas Casino Online.

What is the minimum age for gambling online?

The minimum age is 21 for online gambling, with the exception of online bingo which is 18.

Is it legal to gamble online in North Carolina?

There are no explicit North Carolina State laws that prohibit online gambling, it generally falls into a grey area. In fact, at a Federal level, it could be argued that online sports betting is permitted, however mobile or online sports betting was explicitly ruled as illegal in July 2019.

Bordering States

South Carolina | Georgia | Tennessee | Virginia

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