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North Carolina daily fantasy sites are operational. The games aren’t formally regulated or authorized by the state, but top DFS providers such as DraftKings and FanDuel accept players.
Lawmakers have taken up multiple daily fantasy authorization bills in the past several years, but none have passed the legislature. Legislators haven’t reached consensus on how to formally regulate the games and whether or not they constitute a form of gambling.
Like other states without either an explicit authorization or an outright ban, North Carolina daily fantasy players can set lineups with their favorite members of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets or the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. Daily fantasy’s legal status remains undetermined, but North Carolina DFS players won’t have to worry about accessing the games in the meantime.
North Carolina online sports betting is illegal. There is some percolating interest for real-money online sports betting, but it will be an uphill climb for any further progress.
Sports bettors in North Carolina can take solace in coming legal sportsbooks at the state’s two Native American casinos. Both are located in the rural western portion of the state and can only take in-person bets within their respective facilities once they open, likely in early 2020.
In-person sports betting will be exclusively permitted at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel. Commercial sportsbooks remain banned.
Though limited in scope, these two pending sportsbooks are a major breakthrough for one of the most gambling-averse states in the country. The Tar Heel State still has some of the nation’s most restrictive gambling laws and any future progress will be incremental, if at all.
Industry observers hope in-person sports betting at the two tribal casinos could spark a breakthrough for commercial options or online sportsbooks. After approving sportsbooks at the two casinos in 2019, lawmakers later passed legislation to study future gaming developments, including mobile sports wagering.
When, or if, lawmakers take tangible actions from the study remains to be seen. For now, North Carolina online sports bettors won’t have any legal options.
North Carolina online casino gambling is not legal. Real-money online casino games can’t be played legally in North Carolina and there is minimal interest from lawmakers to authorize the games.
Excluding the two casinos on sovereign Native American lands, North Carolina has no in-person gaming facilities. It is one of the few remaining states without any commercial casinos, horse tracks, slot parlors or similar entities. Real-money online casino games have been tough sells even in states with brick-and-mortar casinos, making it that much harder to achieve in North Carolina.
New commercial casinos seem unlikely soon.
Conservative and religious groups, largely opposed to gaming in all forms, hold considerable political and cultural sway in the state. In 2005, North Carolina became the last state on the East Coast to approve a government-sanctioned lottery and has taken up few significant gaming-related initiatives since.
Lawmakers approved limited sports betting options in 2019, the first major gaming development since the lottery, showing that legislators may be more open to future developments. But even the limited bills proved somewhat controversial. Casino gaming, online or in-person, doesn’t appear to be coming to North Carolina.
North Carolina online poker is not legal. Real-money poker games will likely remain outlawed for years to come.
The state’s longstanding opposition to all forms of gambling extends to online and brick-and-mortar poker rooms. Though both forms of poker have gained momentum further north along the East Coast, North Carolina has shown little interest.
Gambling attitudes continue to shift nationwide, even in traditionally gaming skeptical states. But North Carolina remains an unlikely early adopter of new gaming forms, meaning online poker is realistically years away from coming to fruition.
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North Carolina remains one of the most restrictive gambling states in America. Even though it will be among the first dozen or so jurisdictions to take a legal sports bet, the state lags behind much of the rest of the country in terms of gaming options.
Like most other colonies, North Carolina used lotteries to help fuel the American Revolution as well as its early government in the late 1700s. By the 1800s, North Carolina followed most other states by outlawing all forms of gambling. But as other states gradually implemented new gaming means in the 1900s, North Carolina remained largely opposed.
Major 20th century gaming movements such as commercial pari-mutuel horse tracks and later casinos gained little traction in North Carolina. Neither type of establishment operates in the state now. North Carolina did join nearly every other state by sanctioning a government-run lottery, but did so only in 2005 and after every state along the East Coast had already done so.
North Carolina was one of the earliest adopters of legal sports betting, albeit only at two casinos in the rural western portion of the state. But proposals to regulate daily fantasy sports as well as enact a state gaming commission, two organizational entities commonplace in most other states, have so far failed to pass out of the legislature. Real-money online casino gaming options have gained even less traction.
The state maintains significant religious and conservative traditions which remain largely opposed to gambling in all forms. Nationwide attitudes continue to shift, but North Carolina will almost assuredly remain behind much of the country’s gambling developments.
North Carolina becomes one of the earlier adopters of legal sports betting, approving in-person wagering at the state’s two Native American casinos.
Cherokee Valley River Casino opens, becoming the state’s second casino. It is allowed to offer table games as part of a 2012 compact.
Video poker games are explicitly banned in North Carolina. The games first launched in 2000.
The state lottery sells its first ticket, the most significant gaming development in modern state history.
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, the state’s first-scale casino, opens its doors.
A horse and dog racing facility in Morehead City is closed four years after it opens.
Lotteries, and nearly every other form of gambling, are banned.
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