The Retail Sites in North Carolina Where You Can Legally Bet on Sports

The Retail Sites in North Carolina Where You Can Legally Bet on Sports

While a likely House vote in May will determine if online North Carolina sports betting will be legalized in the state, there are two bricks-and-mortar spots where it is legal. And another could be on the way.

The oldest legal gaming spot in North Carolina is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, which opened nearly 25 years ago in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. It’s about an hour west of Asheville and only 45 miles southeast of Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

In 2015, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino opened in Murphy, which is a little more than an hour southwest of the first Cherokee casino. It's closer to the South Carolina and Tennessee borders than any major city in North Carolina.

Both of these casinos have sports betting — the only legal sports betting in the state at the moment — as they’ve 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.

MORE: North Carolina Online Casinos

Two Kings Casino Closer to Charlotte

The new player in the state is the Catawba Two Kings Casino in King’s Mountain, about 30 miles west of Charlotte. A huge $270 million full-service casino is slated for construction at that site, but so far, it’s only a makeshift facility, opened in July 2021, with limited gaming and no sports betting.

Glen White, director of corporate communications for Delaware North, the consultants on the Catawba casino project, offered an update on the project.

“An expanded pre-launch facility with an additional 500 gaming machines – including electronic table games offering blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat — opened Dec. 15,” White said. “With the completed expansion, the temporary casino now features 1,000 gaming machines. They include 954 traditional slot machines and 46 positions at four automated electronic table game pods in a 'stadium' setup.

“Planning for the development of a permanent major casino resort to replace the temporary facility is in progress,” White said, “with an announcement on a timeline for construction anticipated this year.”

Catawbas Plan to Add Sports Betting

The temporary facility, however, does plan to offer retail sports betting this year.

“As allowed by the Catawba Nation’s compact with the State of North Carolina, Catawba Two Kings Casino is adding an onsite sportsbook this year at our temporary gaming venue,” White said. “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.”

As for litigation issues with the Cherokee, who have been trying to fend off the Catawba casino, White said, “President Biden recently signed into law the Catawba Indian Nation Lands Act, which had strong bipartisan support in its passage by Congress, both the House and the Senate, in December. The law reaffirms the U.S. Interior Department’s action in March 2020 recognizing the Catawba’s ancestral ties to North Carolina. As a result, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ lawsuit, including their appeal, was dismissed in federal court.”

White added that business at the King’s Mountain facility has been “very strong since we opened our expansion to 1,000 gaming machines in December and continuing to increase.”

Spokespeople for the Cherokee did not respond to requests for comment.



Howard Gensler
Journalists / Reporter

Howard Gensler is a veteran journalist covering the North Carolina sports betting market for Before his focus on US sports betting, Howard worked at the Philadelphia Daily News, TV Guide and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Howard is also a founding editor of

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