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New Sports Betting Laws in North Carolina


In July of 2019, Governor Roy Cooper signed into effect the S 154 bill, which made sports betting legal in the state of North Carolina. They became the seventeenth state in the United States to legalize sports betting. This new law allows residents to place bets on sports and horse races in government approved tribal casinos.

In other words, North Carolina’s two tribal casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel, are now open for sports betting from the general public.

Unlike the other states that have legalized, North Carolina allows betting on college sports within state. Because of this, people will be able to bet on sports such as North Carolina basketball.


Despite the new law, mobile sports betting is still restricted. Online betting is only permitted for daily fantasy sports and online lottery games. Since online casino games are still outlawed, gamblers often go to offshore websites for this.

North Carolina residents are still required to be at least 21 years old to place bets. However, permitted online betting websites allow people to start making accounts at 18 years old. In response, North Carolina residents may make an account at 18, but cannot place a bet until they are 21.

Even though mobile betting is still restricted, betters are able to go to casinos and bet on college games. Betters from outside North Carolina may come into the state just to bet on college sports.


This lack of accessible mobile betting is of slight concern. For example, New York operates under a similar law to the one passed in North Carolina. People may bet on sports, however New York still outlaws online sports betting. In addition, New York politicians are still split regarding legalization.

In contrast, New York’s next-door neighbor of New Jersey is much more lenient. New Jersey allows all forms of sports betting, including mobile websites. They have been fairly revolutionary in this respect.

In response, New York betters have begun migrating toward New Jersey. They do this almost exclusively because of ease of access. Mobile betting is simply easier than driving to a casino.

Because of this, there is some concern that a similar response could happen in North Carolina. Losing this target audience could lead to a loss in economic gain. Losing economic gain could lead to casino owners leaving the state in favor of other options.

In addition, both of the government approved casinos are along the western edge of North Carolina. Because of this, eastern residents’ only options are restricted mobile gambling, or going to another state. Either way, this is another loss of business for North Carolina casinos.


North Carolina likely hopes that targeting college betting will help cover this loss in revenue. It definitely helps that they are the only state with college betting legalized. Drawing in this untapped market could boost North Carolina’s gambling revenue.

In addition to this, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are in discussions with the government. They are trying to get the government to approve their eastern North Carolina casinos. Doing this would certainly make sports betting more accessible to the whole state.

However, these new markets likely would not add up to their losses from banning mobile sports betting. The market for mobile betting is easily bigger since it also targets a more casual audience. Ease of access makes casual betters more likely to try.


In conclusion, North Carolina is making strides toward progress in sports betting. Just the fact that it is legal in North Carolina puts them ahead of so many other states in the country.

They have even innovated by allowing betting on college sports. No other state has this option, so they will draw in new fans. These new fans do not have the option of college betting in any other state. In addition, the government is working with Eastern tribal casinos to spread its coverage. Giving approval to eastern North Carolina casinos would give those local residents a new option.

Despite all of this, they still lack the coverage that mobile betting grants. Allowing mobile betting would open up sports betting to a much larger audience with its ease of access. This ease of access would also allow more casual fans to enter the world of sports betting.