A new player in North Carolina sports betting officially entered the market on Tuesday, as the Catawba Two Kings Casino in King’s Mountain, about 30 miles west of Charlotte, officially opened its doors to retail sports betting.
The opening, of course, comes ahead of Week 1 of the NFL season, and just 6 days before the local Carolina Panthers welcome the Cleveland Browns to Bank of America Stadium.
A $270 million full-service casino is still slated for construction at the temporary Two Kings site -- likely a trailer -- but so far, it’s only a makeshift facility that opened in July 2021 with limited gaming and no sports betting.
The temporary casino features a branded Two Kings sportsbook, agent/teller services with betting voucher redemption, as well as 30 betting kiosks throughout the facility. The sportsbook is open 24 hours daily, and the betting kiosks can be accessed at any time during the casino’s 24/7 operating hours, according to a news release.
Patrons can place wagers on an array of sports, including auto racing, baseball, basketball, boxing, football, golf, hockey, mixed martial arts and soccer.
The Catawba Two Kings Casino opened in July 2021 with 500 gaming machines and expanded in December to 1,000 gaming machines, including electronic table games. Several additional prefabricated modular structures have now been added to the temporary facility to accommodate the sportsbook.
Bettors willing to make the trip to King's Mountain will now have the opportunity to bet on, or against, Panthers Owner David Tepper, whose approval rankings in the state have taken a dive over the last twelve months.
Two's a Crowd, Three's A Party?
Catawba Two Kings Casino joins two bricks-and-mortar spots in North Carolina where sports betting is legal: Cherokee sportsbooks in both the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and Murphy, which is closer to the South Carolina and Tennessee borders than any major city in North Carolina.
Both partnered with Caesars for in-house, retail sportsbooks called “The Book.”
The first retail sports bets were placed on March 18 in the Cherokee sportsbooks.
Another Option For In-Person Wagering, But Online Still Far Away
Glen White, director of corporate communications for Delaware North, the consultants on the Catawba casino project, back in February said he hopes the sportsbook helps signal the appetite for online sports betting in North Carolina, which failed this summer during a protracted House of Representatives session on June 22.
White told BetCarolina, "We are also monitoring the legislative process on online sports betting, with the hope that it will create new jobs and economic activity for North Carolinians, preserve the jobs of our current and future casino employees and also protect our capital investment in the casino."
Should North Carolina approve mobile sports betting, the state could be a hotbed not only for the NFL (Panthers) and NBA (Hornets) but also college hoops (with UNC and Duke) and college football with other popular schools like NC State, Appalachian State and East Carolina (not to mention neighboring Clemson).