North Carolina online casinos may still not be legal in 2021, but there is a wealth of gambling to be enjoyed in the Old North State. Luckily, gambling laws in NC are changing all of the time.
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Over the years, North Carolina has lagged behind in opening up its gambling laws. Casinos only appeared in the 1990s, and over the years the state has moved to ban some games entirely.
It was only in 2019 that sports betting was finally legalized. However, regulated betting on sports is confined to North Carolina casino sites owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
SB 154 makes it legal for the tribe to open retail sportsbooks at its Harrah’s-branded properties. In addition, pari-mutuel betting is allowed on simulcast races. However, wagers must be placed in person at one of North Carolina’s brick ‘n mortar casinos.
A new bill — SB 688 — would seek to expand the current law to allow online sportsbooks. This would help raise funds for schools in North Carolina and prevent tax dollars from flowing to offshore gambling sites. There’s little chance of SB 688 before late 2021 at the earliest.
North Carolina has taken long enough to legalize sports betting. For now, the first legal online casino site in the Tarheel State seems a long way away.
The current gaming laws don’t permit North Carolina online casinos. In fact, there are still just 2–3 legal brick-and-mortar casinos operating in the state. It could be some time before legalized online casino gambling begins in NC.
For now, gamblers in the state will have to make do with sweepstakes casinos. These offer a legal form of online casino gambling using a unique free play model.
With such little regulated gambling in North Carolina, the main organization overseeing operations in the state is the North Carolina Lottery Commission. The NCLC regulates the state education lottery and administers revenue to the public school program. And new Racing Commission in the state would also form part of the existing Lottery Commission.
On the flipside, the Tribal Gaming Commission oversees all casino gambling at Eastern Band of Cherokee properties. The Cherokee are allowed to offer Class III gaming, including slots and table games.
They are also permitted to enter into contracts with external operators, and have done so by partnering with Caesars Entertainment. Both tribal casinos in North Carolina carry the Harrah’s brand. The current deal ends in 2042.
Real-money North Carolina casino sites are a thing of the future. However, you can still enjoy some great slots and table games at social casinos.
Social casinos offer a range of slot machines and online casino games such as roulette and blackjack. They look and feel just like ordinary online casino games, but you won’t be able to win any real cash. Sites like Caesars Games even let you purchase free coins to use on your favorite games.
You can also play at sweepstakes casinos online for a shot at winning real cash. In recent years, gambling sites such as Hard Rock Social Casino have begun to appear in US states that traditionally don’t permit real-money gaming.
At sweepstakes casinos, you play for fun with Gold Coins. You can then win special Sweeps Coins which can be used on real-money games and redeemed for cash. Best of all, it’s totally legal under current US sweepstakes rules.
The law surrounding North Carolina casinos is changing all the time. With retail sports betting now legal and lawmakers hoping to push for online gaming, it could be just a matter of time before North Carolina online casinos launch. So, which operators could we expect to see? Some of the largest gambling operators in the US already run licensed casinos online. We would expect at least one to make a push to launch the first real money casino online in NC.
Caesars Entertainment already has a foothold in North Carolina with its Harrah’s properties. Any Caesars online casinos would be welcomed by gamblers looking for a safe place to play on the web. Plus, you would be able to take advantage of the Caesars Rewards program and redeem player points for cash.
Get to Know Caesars Casino
FanDuel is one of America’s leading daily fantasy sports operators and already runs online casinos and sports betting sites around the US.
Like FanDuel, DraftKings runs legal online casinos and sportsbooks in regulated states such as New Jersey. However, they will have to first overcome the hurdle of DFS legislation before acquiring any future North Carolina online casino license.
Get to Know DraftKings Casino
North Carolina casinos would launch with a host of exciting promotions and deals for players. You’d be able to access welcome bonuses including a deposit match and free spins to use on your favorite slots.
In addition, the first North Carolina online casinos would run attractive retention promotions such as reload bonuses, slots tournaments and reward schemes.
To get started, you’ll have to set up a free online account and provide a few personal details. You’ll also be able to make a real-money deposit and enter a promo code when prompted. This will give you access to any free bets or bonus funds being offered by the NC casino online. It’s safe to say the NC sports betting sites would have similar promotions to that of other states, such as MI betting.
Every NC casino will make it easy and safe to make deposits. You’ll be able to use your regular US debit card from Visa or Mastercard to make deposits in seconds. The casinos won’t charge a dime.
Your favorite North Carolina online casino will also process deposits via e-wallets and online bank transfers. Sign up for a PayPal account and store money from multiple sources. You can then transfer money instantly and securely to North Carolina gambling sites without ever sharing your card details.
Live near a local 7-Eleven? PayNearMe is the ultimate cash option if you want to play online casino games in NC. Rock up to your nearest store and deposit into your gambling account using cash.
And when North Carolina online casinos finally launch, you should be able to take advantage of prepaid cards such as Play+. Load your card with funds from a US debit card and avoid those annoying declined gambling payments players sometimes suffer in other states.
You’ll also be able to make casino withdrawals from a North Carolina online gambling site. Transfer winnings back to your debit card, e-wallet or US bank account in a day or two. As long as you can wait for the processing period, you’ll have access to your cash to use how you like.
Gambling in North Carolina isn’t just about betting at retail sportsbooks or via your laptop. When online casinos launch, you’ll also be able to bet on your mobile phone.
Mobile casinos will allow you to download a dedicated app where you can log in, make deposits and access hundreds of games. Whether you’re playing roulette or online slots in North Carolina, games will be specially adapted to work on your smartphone. All you’ll need to do is verify your location so that the casino can confirm you’re gambling legally within NC borders.
It will be easy to get started with mobile North Carolina casinos. Just install an app from the App Store or Google Play Store and fill in the registration form. Confirm your address and date of birth and upload some photo ID. You’ll also be able to enter a promo code to claim free spins or a deposit match bonus.
Making deposits and withdrawals at a mobile casino in North Carolina will be a breeze. Use your debit card or e-wallet app, or make mobile payments using Apple Pay or Google Pay.
North Carolina currently boasts two permanent brick 'n mortar casinos, both owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Cherokee and Valley River resorts are operated by Caesars Entertainment under the Harrah’s brand. Under state law, both casinos will be able to open retail sportsbooks in 2021.
|Casino Name||Address||Owner/Operator||Table Games (Y/N)||Slot Machines||Gaming Floorspace|
|Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort||777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719||Tribal Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians||Y||3,100+||150,000 sq. ft.|
|Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel||777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906||Tribal Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians||Y||1000+||60,000 sq. ft.|
|Catawba Two Kings Casino-Resort||528 Kings Mountain Blvd, Kings Mountain, NC 28086||Tribal Catawba Indian Nation||Y||500||150,000 sq. ft.|
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
North Carolina’s largest casino forms part of the Caesars Entertainment chain. There are over 3,200 slots and table games spread across the 150,000-square-foot gaming floor and they’ll soon be joined by a retail sportsbook. You can also take advantage of a dedicated Asian gaming room, complete with noodle bar.
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River is, like its sister site, situated in the bottom left-hand corner of the state. The gaming floor measures 60,000 square feet and makes good use of the space with over 1,000 slots, video poker, roulette and a poker room.
2021 will see Valley River opening its first legal sportsbook. The Cherokee Tribal Council have also announced plans for a $275m expansion to the resort, including a new hotel and bigger gaming floor.
Plus, of course, you can take advantage of the Caesars Rewards scheme to earn perks and points every time you play.
Catawba Two Kings Casino
South Carolina’s Catawba Indian Nation also have designs on a land-based casino in North Carolina. The temporary Catawba Two Kings Casino opened its doors in 2021 and offers slots and table games. The Catawba Nation hope to secure a permanent gaming license for a larger casino but are facing stiff opposition from the Cherokee.
North Carolina has had a troubled history with gambling. Some forms of gambling have been legalized over the years, then banned entirely. Brick-and-mortar casinos only appeared in the 1990s, and it’s taken until 2019 to legalize sports betting.
While states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have had regulated online casinos, poker and sports betting for years, North Carolina lags behind. However, with the new gaming law finally opening the doors to legal sports betting, a first North Carolina online casino can’t be too far behind.
|Type of Gambling Permitted||Y/N||Year Legalized|
|Horse Racing/OTB Betting||Y||2019|
|Land-Based Sports Betting||Y||2019|
|Online Sports Betting||N||N/A|
|Daily Fantasy Sports||N||N/A|
|Charitable Gaming||Y||1945, 1977, 1979|
North Carolina online casinos might be a thing of the future, but what options do you have now to play slots and table games now?
Offshore casinos have existed for years, offering real-money casino games to gamblers in the US. Of course, offshore online casinos are risky and not recommended.
Illegal online casinos operate outside US jurisdiction. There’s no comeback if you lose your money or suffer from lousy software and poor random number generators. There’s also a danger that your bonuses and promotions may not be honored.
Why you should avoid offshore casinos:
North Carolina online casino sites will have to advocate responsible gambling to protect customers. Gamblers will be able to set playing session limits and limit the amount they deposit and spend.
Legal online casinos in North Carolina will also provide a list of resources to help with problem gambling. There are one or two state programs in NC that offer free support and help. Gamblers can also access meetings through Gamblers Anonymous.
NC Problem Gambling Program
The North Carolina Problem Gambling Program (NCPGP) offers support and treatment to gamblers throughout the state. Support is funded by the North Carolina Education Lottery and is offered both online and in-person. The hotline is free to use.
North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling (NCCPG)
The NCCPG offers support and helplines to gamblers and their families in North Carolina.
North Carolina online casino sites are coming to the state. The question is, when? With sports betting legal in the Tarheel State and senators making noises over online gambling, it’s surely a matter of time before roulette and blackjack will finally be legalized online.
Luckily, you can keep up to date with our news articles. We’ll bring you the latest NC developments as they happen.
No, as of July 2021 North Carolina online casinos are not legal. However, there are moves to legalize sports betting online.
North Carolina has fully legal tribal casinos, a state lottery and charitable gaming and bingo.
You must be aged 21 or over to gamble in NC casinos. However, you can legally purchase lottery tickets if you’re 18 or over.
Social casino slots and sweepstakes are currently legal in North Carolina. However, you won’t be able to play traditional real-money casino slots online.
Yes! North Carolina has two established tribal casinos, both owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. One temporary casino is operated by the Catawba Indian Nation.
"Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos."