A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in North Carolina

North Carolina is one of the states that restrict almost every form of gambling. This state kicked off with the same attitude, banning all types of gambling in its first constitution in the 18th century. There wasn’t any progress on this field for almost 200 years, but in 1945, some bingo games were legalized. Over the next three decades nothing changed except for more bingo law improvements as the Department of Revenue took all bingo operations under its wing.

In 1982, the first glimmer of hope appeared – the Eastern Cherokee tribe opened a high-stakes bingo hall on tribal land, and 12 years later the Governor allowed them to build a class 2 casino. Another 12 years had to pass before even lottery was approved, in the form of an ‘education lottery’, which sold scratch cards and draws. The same lottery is still running today and it has incorporated inter-state lotteries such as Mega Millions and Powerball into its system.

Meanwhile, North Carolinians started to enjoy some video poker machines in bars, but in 2007 these were banned too. However, five years later a renegotiation of the deal with the Cherokee tribe allowed them to place class-3 equipment in their already-huge casino, making it the first real casino in the state. Even though this may signal a positive trend, it wasn’t the end of North Carolina’s crackdowns as in 2013, they banned ‘internet sweepstake parlors’, a form of business that appeared in the state which sold time on their machines for the possibility of cash prizes. Another casino and a bingo hall run by the Cherokee tribe opened a few years later.

You won’t be surprised to find out that North Carolina hasn’t brought forward any special regulation on online gambling, but they consider it illegal under their current system of laws. The same goes for horse racing and sports betting. All in all, this is a pretty dry state when it comes to gambling.

North Carolina Gambling Overview:

  • Year North Carolina regulated offline and online gambling: 1994 for offline gambling, online gambling remains unregulated but is considered illegal.
  • North Carolina gambling age: 21 for casinos, 18 for lottery, everything else has no minimum age.
  • Legal online casino games in North Carolina: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 0
  • Number of tribal casinos: 2
  • Top online casinos North Carolina-wide:

Gambling in North Carolina: What’s Legal?

To put it simply – very little. There’s a state lottery which functions along with charity raffles and bingo. They have two tribal casinos and no commercial casinos, as well as one tribal high-stakes bingo hall. Pari-mutuel betting is illegal, along with every other form of sports betting. Social gaming is even crushed under a heavy law that treats both hosts and players the same, promising a misdemeanor for social gambling. Fantasy sports are treated as legal by the providers, but the government hasn’t mentioned anything about them yet. North Carolina has a smoking ban, but it doesn’t apply to any of the Cherokee casinos. If you want to gamble, try out these North Carolina casinos:

Name Address Opening hours Games Dress code Phone number Website
Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort – Cherokee 777 Casino Drive – Cherokee 24/7


3500 slot machines, table games N/A +1 828-497-7777 www.caesars.com
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino – Murphy 777 Casino Parkway – Cherokee 24/7 1000 slot machines N/A +1 828-422-7777 www.caesars.com

Online Casinos in North Carolina: What You Should Know

There aren’t any forms of online gambling available in North Carolina and by their tradition of cracking down on any sort of gambling, there probably won’t be any soon. If you want to gamble in an online casino, you’ll want to travel to a different state in order to avoid prosecution. Fortunately, New Jersey, Delaware and even Pennsylvania aren’t that far away!

Are North Carolina Online Casinos Legal for Non-NC Residents?

  • N/A

What types of games do North Carolina online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in North Carolina if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in North Carolina?

  • No, they don’t as the state actively fights them.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina, I’m afraid you have no options but to travel somewhere else to enjoy an online casino.

The Bottom Line on North Carolina Online Gambling

North Carolina can be viewed as one of the most backwards states when it comes to gambling laws. This state definitely won’t be among the first to legalize gambling but they’ll probably be among the last. Their casinos provide enough fun for North Carolinians for now, but how long that will last is anyone’s guess.