What you should know about sports gambling in North Carolina

North Carolina legalized in-person sports wagering in 2019, though limiting gambling specifically to casinos on tribal land.(Dreamstime/TNS)

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North Carolina legalized in-person sports wagering in 2019, though limiting gambling specifically to casinos on tribal land.(Dreamstime/TNS)

For Georgia sports gamblers looking for an in-person gambling experience, their best bet in the Southeast might be taking a trip to North Carolina. The state legalized in-person sports wagering in 2019, though limiting gambling specifically to casinos on tribal land.

Here’s what you should know about sports gambling in North Carolina:

Q: What types of sports gambling are allowed?

A: In July 2019, North Carolina signed Senate Bill 154 to allow in-person sports wagering exclusively on tribal lands. Online sports betting through apps is not legal in North Carolina now.

Q: Where can I go to gamble on sports in North Carolina?

A: In-person sports gambling in North Carolina is restricted to tribal casinos. In western North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy started operating sportsbooks in March 2021 and are the two casinos in the state offering sports gambling. Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain is on tribal land but does not currently offer the service, though it may open a sportsbook by the end of the year.

Q: Do you have to be from North Carolina to engage in sports gambling in the state?

A: No. Sports gambling is open to North Carolina residents and those from out of state.

Q: Are there limitations on sports gambling?

A: Current North Carolina legislation allows for gambling on professional and collegiate sports events, along with horse racing. The Cherokee Casinos have house rules for their sportsbook posted on their websites.

Q: Is there momentum for further legislation?

A: Yes. North Carolina’s SB 688 would allow online sports wagering and passed the North Carolina Senate in August 2021. The bill would allow 10-12 mobile operators to run sportsbooks and enable sports wagering either through apps or at venues. Betting on professional and collegiate games, both on overall outcomes and on more specific bets tied to elements of the games, on mobile devices would become legalized for those 21 and older if the bill is signed.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper is among those who have expressed an interest in expanding sports gambling in the state, and so far the bill has received bipartisan support. Legislators expect online sports gambling to become legalized by the fall in time for football season.

Q: Could teams operate sportsbooks near their stadiums?

A: Yes. Professional sports franchises in the state such as the Carolina Panthers and the Charlotte Hornets have been in favor of sports gambling legislation, with revenue and public interest as motivating factors. Additionally, the legislation could allow for sports gambling on-site at the franchises’ stadiums and arenas through sports betting apps.