North Carolina Sports Betting Laws

Legal gambling in North Carolina doesn’t have a lot of competition, in particular with anti-gambling South Carolina directly bordering the state.

Gambling options in North Carolina are relatively sparse too, with Tribal Casinos, a state lottery, DFS operates without-hindrance and charitable gaming is legal in the Tar Heel State.

Video poker suffered a setback in North Carolina in 2007 when a statewide-ban was placed on the machines.

For North Carolina’s standing on Fantasy sports, betting on sports and online gambling etc., see the table below.

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy-Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing No No
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

North Carolina Gambling Tax Rate

North Carolina has a 7% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large wins attract Federal taxes.

Legal Gambling Age in North Carolina

Gambling Type Age
Casinos 21
DFS 18
Lottery 18
Charitable-Gambling No Age Limit

<h2>Sports Betting Laws in North Carolina</h2>

In May of 2018, New Jersey won its court case challenge against the Federal’s Government ban on Sports Betting across the United States. The Supreme Court promptly struck down the Federal Law and ended an effective federal prohibition on nationwide sports betting. Decision making on the legality of sports betting in each state was handed to each state’s lawmakers to determine for their citizens and visitors.

As the state best prepared for the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling, New Jersey legalized sports betting within a matter of weeks (joining long-time legal Nevada) and Mississippi, Delaware and West Virginia have also joined the states where sports betting is now legal. Rhode Island and New York are expected to legalize sports betting sometime later in 2018 and many other states have the topic in their legislative pipeline for the 2018-19 legislative season.

Sports Betting in North Carolina

Currently, North Carolina has no other legal sports betting options beyond DFS. At the current time in North Carolina, it’s not possible to place a bet on the state’s much-loved Duke University Blue Devils, the Carolina Panthers or hockey’s Carolina Hurricanes.

North Carolina is not likely to introduce legislation to legalize sports betting in the short-term. The North Carolina criminal code has classified the act of betting on sports as a Class 2 misdemeanor, an act punishable by a fine of up to $1000 and a maximum of 60 days in jail. It is not a legal landscape that appears conducive to legalization anytime soon.

Online Sports Betting in North Carolina

Only a few states in the nation have authorized legal gambling online and North Carolina is certainly not a member of the ‘legal sports betting online states’ club. North Carolina does not authorize or regulate on online sports betting laws at all.

As in many-other-states, North Carolina’s gambling laws take the approach of prohibiting and defining as illegal everything except for what is specifically authorized as legal. § 14-292 of the North Carolinian State Statutes explains the state’s position in crystal-clear wording;

‘Except as provided in Chapter 18C of the General Statutes or in Part 2 of this Article, any person organization that operates any game of chance or any person who plays at or bets on any game of chance at which any money, property or other thing of value is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. This section shall not apply to a person who plays at or bets on any lottery game being lawfully conducted in any state.’

Meanwhile, online players can play real money DFS competitions unhindered in the Tar Heel State.

Casinos in North Carolina

The Cherokee Tribe operate North Carolina’s two legal Tribal Casinos. Commercial Casinos are authorized to operate in the state.

North Carolina’s Land-Based Casinos

The two Tribal Casinos have a range of gambling options for the state players of North Carolina including; skill-based slot machines (more than 4300 slots offered), electronic table games and a wide selection of casino table games including live poker. The minimum bet at North Carolina casinos is $0.01 up to a maximum bet of a modest $100.

Online Casinos in North Carolina

As mentioned above, due to the all-encompassing nature of its gambling laws, North Carolina is not required to specifically outlaw online casinos in its statutes.

Put simply, any form of unlicensed and unregulated gambling is considered invalid and therefore, illegal under North Carolina Law.

Consequently, all potential online players in the State of North Carolina should to take part in the legal online gambling option available (DFS) ONLY. North Carolina’s residents-and-visitors should avoid playing ANY online casino (either off-shore or U.S. based online casinos) until the facilitation of online casino legalization by the North Carolina State Legislature.

Horse Racing Betting in North Carolina

Horse Racing has always been outlawed in North Carolina and greyhound racing had a brief dalliance as a legal gambling activity from 1939-to-1954.

North Carolina has two racetracks where greyhounds once raced, however, the North Carolina Supreme Court closed their doors permanently amid allegations that special privileges were given to a private company during the legal years.

As such, North Carolina’s state racing industry has been comatose ever since. There are no expectations to see North Carolina attempting to revive horse and greyhound betting in the near future.

Track Side: There are no legal horse or greyhound racing tracks in North Carolina.

Off-Track Betting (OTB): OTB betting is not offered in North Carolina.

Online Betting on Horse Racing in North Carolina: Online Horse Racing Betting is not offered in North Carolina. Please see above sections on ‘Online Casinos in North Carolina’ and ‘Online Sports Betting in North Carolina’ for further details.

<h2>North Carolina’s Daily Fantasy Sports Law</h2>

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions have been ruled by Federal lawmakers in the United States not to be considered a form of gambling. Federal courts have determined DFS are skills-based games, not games of chance. As a result, under U.S. Federal law, states have been encouraged to declare their own individual positions on the legality of DFS competitions.

Lawmakers in North Carolina had long been non-committal on applying DFS legalization laws in the state, until 2017. At that time, Republican lawmakers introduced Bill HB 279 with a series of regulations attached to create a legal framework of DFS competition administration including;

  • 10% tax on revenue,
  • 10% tax on registration and license renewal every 5 years, and;
  • A reapplication and relicensing process.

The bill was ultimately defeated, however, DFS laws are rescheduled for debate in the North Carolina House in 2019. Watch this space for updates as the legalization process heats up.

Meanwhile, all major DFS sites accept customers from North Carolina and players resident in or visiting North Carolina can sign-up and play DFS competitions for real money without form of legal impediment.

What are DFS and how are they played?

With unassumingly modest origins, Fantasy Sports was once a fun pastime played amongst friends and/or co-workers as a social game with some friendly social betting can be involved. Fantasy Sports involves a group of players (called a league), selecting their team/s from a group of real-life pro athletes (most Fantasy Sports sites operate MMA, NCAA, MLB, NHL, NFL, PGA Golf, & NBA competitions) to construct the highest-point scoring fantasy teams.

Real-life athlete’s performances throughout the season are followed in their given sport, and according to those performances, the fantasy teams are assigned points. The Fantasy Sports player whose fantasy team accumulates the most points throughout the season, wins the Fantasy game and takes the winner-take-all social pot.

With the advent of much-improved internet, big money entered the Fantasy Sports World with the increased frequency of DFS competitions. DFS differs from the original form of Fantasy Sports. Instead of the DFS competition’s players keeping their shirt on throughout an entire season to know who won and lost, in a Fantasy Sports game, DFS results are usually announced each day, or in some sports, each week at the outside.

DFS is usually played online with thousands of other players instead of with friends and colleagues. Each DFS player pays a few dollars to enter the league. Subsequently, on a nationwide level, winning DFS players stand to win as much as a million dollars or more from the player entry money prize pool for each of the major leagues.

Season-long, daily or weekly DFS competition winners can possibly receive as more than $1 million per competition, per major league.

Poker Laws in North Carolina

In North Carolina, Live Poker (most major forms including 7 Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, No Limit Texas Hold’em, No Limit Hold’em, Crazy Pineapple etc.) can be played for real money at one of the two Tribal Casinos.

Social poker games are expressly prohibited under the law in North Carolina and harsh penalties, including potential imprisonment can result if charged. Playing home games of social poker are best avoided.

Online Poker Laws in North Carolina

Online Poker games are not legalized in North Carolina and no law to alter that stance on online gambling is tabled for debate in the State Legislature. Please see the above sections ‘Online Sports Betting in North Carolina’ and ‘Online Casinos in North Carolina’ for further explanation.

North Carolina eSports Betting

With the exception of ‘legal-to-play’ DFS in North Carolina, sports betting is generally unavailable, a position that still applies to eSports betting also for the time being. If-and-when sports betting becomes legal in the state of North Carolina, eSports betting will potentially become a popular new way for the state’s residents to win a few dollars, and the state treasury to earn some much-needed additional tax revenue.

‘But what is eSports?’ you ask.

‘eSports’ is video game play at the highest professional levels. Usually, played in team format (rather than individually), eSports is arguably the fastest growing betting phenomenon in the world today. Software game development companies of all the major electronic multi-player games (Starcraft II, Dota 2, Fortnite, Overwatch, and many others) have all launched their own pro leagues, and eSports competitions have been transformed into global betting events with the advent of live streaming technology. Developed sports betting markets around the world offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments.

Watch for our updates on the legalization of sports betting in North Carolina, to take part in legal eSports betting opportunities in the state.

 Benefits of Legalizing Gambling for North Carolina

  • With a population of less than one-third that of North Carolina, in 2017, Nevada earnt $248.8 million of additional annual tax revenue from legal sports betting. More than $4.7 billion in sports wagers were placed through the legal Nevada sports betting system in 2017 alone.
  • The American Gaming Association estimates that $150 billion in illegal sports bets are placed each year in the U.S. With legalization, North Carolina can take its rightful gaming tax revenue share.
  • Sports Betting could improve facilities and services to the state universities and Community Colleges of the Tar Heel State.
  • Legal gambling in a regulated and licensed legal gambling industry will provide greater levels of security and player protection standards for gamblers in the state of North Carolina.

History of Gambling in North Carolina

1753; Public gambling is banned and private gambling losses are capped setting the tone for the rigid anti-gaming laws still present today in North Carolina.

1939-54; Short period of legal greyhound racing for North Carolina.

1945; First charitable gambling (bingo) legalized in the state, followed by raffles in 1977.

1982; Eastern Cherokee Tribe opens a bingo parlor.

1997; First Tribal Casino opens in North Carolina.

2006; State Lottery begins in North Carolina, profits used to fund educational scholarships and other charities.

2007; Video Poker crackdown eliminates legal video poker in licensed bars.

2012; Table Games added to the Tribal Casino suite of casino games in North Carolina.

2017; DFS legalization bill HB 279 defeated in the State House and the topic rescheduled for debate in 2019.



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