Where Does North Carolina Stand in Terms of Sports Betting?

Posted September 24, 2022 by in Lifestyle

As human beings, we all have those things which serve as an escape to us from the world. Things which we can turn to, to forget our troubles, our stress which stems from everyday life. It can be anything, ranging from DIY to music, to art, to cinema, we all have those things which we use as an escape from reality.

For many, this escape comes from gambling and wagering, where they’ll seek the adrenaline rush from participating in games of chance, and from winning said games of chance. In fact, many gamblers and bettors say that they enjoy gambling for the thrill rather than the profit they stand to make. 

Suffice it to say, gambling is a worldwide phenomenon, one which more and more people are getting into every day. North Carolina is no exception, as the legality of gambling is an ongoing struggle within their state senate. However, the road to fully legalizing both gambling, and sports betting are still a long one, and one which is currently facing a number of obstacles.

So where does North Carolina stand on online betting, wagering, and gambling? 

What are the biggest legal issues surrounding this? And how much further does California need to go, to fully legalize gambling and reach the heights attained by states such as Nevada, or New Jersey?

The Current Legislative Issues Surrounding Gambling And Sports Betting

The Law As It Currently Stands

As it currently stands, the legal situation within North Carolina is quite iffy, especially in regards to North Carolina sports betting, due to several legal issues and hurdles. According to the North Carolina criminal code, most forms of gambling are currently outlawed. These include illegal lotteries, as well as horse and greyhound racing.

North Carolina law states that it is illegal for any person or organization to operate any type of game of chance or to play or bet on any game of chance that involves them winning items of profit, such as money, property, or any other assets.

What Exceptions May Exist?

A few exceptions remain, however, such as Indian Casinos due to them being situated on Indian Reservations which have different laws surrounding gaming and gambling. These Indian reservations also opened North Carolina’s first Physical Sportsbooks, with the first one, named “The Book” opening in March of 2021.

On the other hand, the state also permits Bingo Games, only by non-profit organizations and 

Charities with the maximum price being five hundred dollars. These games are heavily audited by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The operators of these games are also heavily regulated on how frequently they can hold these games. 

The same issue exists with Raffles. Raffles have a limit of up to ten thousand dollars in cash and fifty thousand dollars in merchandise, with a limit of two raffles being able to be held per year. 

The Fight To Legalise Sports Betting: Sb 688.

On the 7th of April 2021, state senator Jim Perry Filed SB 688, a bill that would legalize online sports betting in North Carolina. The bill proposed a limited amount of licenses for online sportsbooks that wouldn’t be required to partner with an actual casino, leaving them to be completely separated from in-person gambling, but introducing a new revenue stream for the state. 

This Bill found ground and was approved by the house of commerce committee with a vote of 12-4 in November of 2021.  Currently, two more house committees need to hear out and vote on this bill. 

Currently, however, issues and concerns regarding gambling addiction have hindered the process of SB 688 being passed, despite positive feedback coming from the public surrounding this bill. As of now, the Bill is halted, and it’s uncertain whether it will make a return in the future.

Can One Still Bet In North Carolina?

Despite the state of North Carolina having strict laws on gambling, one can still bet and gamble in numerous ways while staying within the confines of the law. These include the aforementioned exceptions, with one which remained unmentioned, but is the principal source of sports betting for places where gambling is outlawed. This is offshore betting.

Let’s take a quick look at the ways one can bet in North Carolina.

Betting Within Indian Casinos

When it comes to sportsbooks, Indian Casinos are not bound by the same laws of the general state, yet have their own set of laws and regulations within their tribes and reservations. As a result of this, their casinos have their own sportsbooks, though, at the moment, only Cherokee Valley River Casino is accepting bets in their sportsbook. The Catawba Two Kings Resort has a license but is not currently accepting bets, though it may in the future. 

Offshore Betting 

Offshore gaming or offshore betting is, as the name suggests, located and registered offshore rather than in a specific country or state. This allows one to legally wager in North Carolina while avoiding the legal restrictions that currently prevent internet gaming there. There are hundreds of offshore oddsmakers currently operating, a large proportion of which are based in Curacao or Panama.


North Carolina’s stance on betting and gambling can be described as a struggle, one in which legislators are battling to finally legalize gambling and sports betting once and for all. However, there is still a long way for them to go, especially with the halting of SB688, but betting is still an option for those who want to try their luck, thanks to offshore betting and betting within Indian Casinos.