North Carolina Casinos & Real Money Gambling Sites

Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

Gambling in North Carolina is a bit of a grey area. We will discuss casinos in North Carolina, the status of local casinos, and we let you know what forms of gambling are legal and illegal types of North Carolina gambling. We'll give you a brief history of betting in the Tar Heel State and the influence of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act on the gaming tables at tribal casinos in North Carolina. This act of 1988 legalized gambling in North Carolina casinos.

What Forms of Gambling Are Legal in North Carolina?

Gambling is legal in North Carolina in retail NC casinos and there are now four land-based casinos open in the state. A new Senate bill to allow online sports betting is in the pipeline and will hopefully be accepted soon. North Carolina gambling law states that it is illegal to operate or bet on a game of chance that involves winning money or anything of significant value, but there are a few other forms of gambling entertainment allowed in the state. Legal forms of gambling in NC include North Carolina sports betting, the North Carolina Education Lottery, Indian Tribal casinos, charitable bingo or raffles, and beach bingo.

Sports betting

Sports betting is expected to be legalized in North Carolina when the bill is passed in the near future. North Carolina sports betting apps will be available as we get closer to a possible launch of mobile sports betting. 


Horseracing has been outlawed and was never really allowed to take place in terms of North Carolina gambling. The state banned racinos since the mid-fifties due to rumors that officials were handing out special privileges. North Carolina never allowed horseracing after that.


North Carolina has one of America's youngest lottery systems, born in 2005. The North Carolina State Lottery Act started the Lottery commission, charged with overseeing all areas of the NC Education Lottery. For the state lottery, raising funds for education is the main aim.


North Carolina has four physical land-based casinos with a combined 5,280-plus slots and gaming machines, and 170 table games available. It may be possible to play at online casinos in North Carolina (like the offshore company Bovada) in some jurisdictions or with a VPN but it is not advised.


Licensed non-profit agencies can operate up to twice a week with sessions no longer than five hours. Qualified non-profit and charitable organizations may run these bingo games and there are a few halls with restaurants in North Carolina.


With no legal and regulated online poker in the state, NC's poker scene is based at Harrah's Cherokee Poker Room and other casinos in NC. Real-money online poker play is not readily available in North Carolina.

Fantasy Sports

Daily Fantasy Sports is legal in North Carolina, though this form of gaming has not yet been officially recognized and regulated by lawmakers in the state.

A History Of Gambling in North Carolina

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 legalized casino gambling and gaming at North Carolina tribal casinos. North Carolina has a proposed Gaming Commission bill that will aim to expand gambling options within state lines. This could potentially bring NC to a similar level as the other states that offer the best casino experience in the US. The Bill is still under committee review, but residents expect that it covers all gaming activities in NC including sports betting and online gaming.

North Carolina generally opposes the expansion of gambling activity due to its morals and Bible Belt culture. Some sportsbooks like Caesars North Carolina were erected in the tribal casinos in 2022. The Lottery and Sweepstakes casinos (or internet cafes and parlors) are two forms of gambling entertainment that have been around for a while in North Carolina.

Retail Casinos in North Carolina

North Carolina has three large operating Indian retail casinos and there are also legal bingo halls and establishments scattered around the state. The three main casinos are owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina and all gaming and gambling activity is legalized between these walls. Gambling in North Carolina is run exclusively by the Cherokee tribe, and the state passed a bill allowing regulated gambling in these casinos. In these land-based casinos in North Carolina, residents can relax and experience a fully legalized range of gambling activities, such as slots, craps, Texas Holdem poker, roulette, blackjack, and three-card draw poker.

  • 🏦 Harrah's Cherokee
  • 🏦 Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino
Casino NameCasino AddressTelephone NumberTotal Games
Harrah's Cherokee777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719828-497-77773,000+
Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906828-422-77771,000+

There are a couple more casinos where we can play all the games like Poker, Roulette, and Blackjack. Or fire up a bingo card and pull those slot machine handles! A new Indian casino resort at King's Mountain is being developed by the Catawba Indian Nation, is open for gaming. Catawba Two Kings Casino is operating from a temporary building currently, but it is developing a permanent gaming floor, hotel, and restaurants on the Kings Mountain property.

Can I Gamble Online in North Carolina?

Gambling came to NC in 1997 in Charlotte with the opening of its first casino. Gambling expanded through the North Carolina Education Lottery. Legal forms of gambling in North Carolina (but not necessarily regulated) include the North Carolina Education Lottery, Indian Tribal casinos, bingo or raffles for charity, and some other forms of bingo. The state might be on the verge of legalizing sports betting. Yes, North Carolina has a proposed Gaming Commission Bill aiming to expand gambling options within the state lines. Taxes will need to be paid on all gambling winnings within the state of NC. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 legalized gambling in North Carolina casinos.

North Carolina Online Casino Laws

Online gaming or online casinos, North Carolina based, are strictly forbidden but there is a bill being looked at in the Senate as we speak that is looking to change that in 2023. We could see the birth of online sports betting and casino play in NC. It is possible to access offshore online casinos like Bovada in North Carolina and or use VPNs to play but we don't recommend using unregulated gambling companies. The state gambling laws don't allow internet gambling of any kind. According to NC gambling law, "no person or entity is permitted to operate a game of chance or to play or bet on any game of chance that involves winning money, property, or anything of value".

  • Internet gambling is strictly prohibited in NC.
  • Games of chance must not be operated online.
  • A bill is being looked at to allow online gambling in the near future.
  • We do not recommend offshore casinos.
  • We can't win money or anything of value through gaming online.

Sweepstakes Casinos in North Carolina

A sweepstakes casino, parlor, or (internet) café is an establishment that gives away chances to win prizes by purchasing a product or service instead of wagering funds directly. The games can look and feel just like ordinary online casino games, but you won't be able to win any real cash. As soon as you fire up the sweepstakes casino you can enjoy a variety of sweepstakes games. They can offer slots of all kinds including classic slots, video slots, themed slots, and more casino products like Keno. The best design, graphics, sound, and themes may accompany the software of these internet cafes.

When Will Online Casinos be Legal in North Carolina?

It looks like online casinos might be legal in North Carolina sometime in 2023. There are already plenty of ways to get in on the gamble, from the lottery to sweepstakes casinos. Online betting might be legalized in North Carolina via a new bill being filed at the General Assembly. Sports betting is already technically legal in North Carolina casinos on tribal lands at the two Cherokee casinos. Online gaming could be set to follow. The new gaming commission bill under committee review in NC is said to cover most aspects of online gaming.

Who Would Regulate North Carolina's Online Casinos?

Cherokee tribal gaming commission which is associated with the National Indian Gaming Commission will rule the roost on casinos built on tribal land. Sports betting in these areas would be governed by the same constituency. The North Carolina Education Lottery rules and regulates several forms of gambling in the state. Brick-and-mortar casinos like Harrah's Cherokee Casino are run by the Indian Gaming Authority.

Can I Visit Offshore Online Casinos?

Bovada sportsbook and casino is an offshore gambling platform that operates in a legal grey area. Some gaming companies like Bovada are not regulated and it's up to you whether or not to use offshore gambling platforms or use VPNs to find gambling outs. There are several of these sportsbooks and online casinos, but your funds are not guaranteed to be safe in unregulated books. There can be numerous unforeseen circumstances that can put your money, data, or information at risk. To reiterate, online gambling is still illegal in North Carolina as it stands.

  • Funds are not guaranteed to be safe.
  • Licensed but unregulated gaming operators.
  • Data and information possibly at risk.
  • Funds not held in a separate account.
  • Internet gambling is illegal in NC.

Responsible Gambling

Gambling can be addictive and in a small percentage of cases it becomes a problem whether it's slot machines, the roulette table, or other forms of table games or gambling. Many gaming operators offer players the choice of setting their own online casinos limits. There are several resources dedicated to responsible gambling in North Carolina. The North Carolina Problem Gambling Program provides several problem gambling services and resources. 'More Than A Game' is another service with a gambling assistance program offering resources for immediate support. Check out: for more information. More Than A Game sponsors training events and provides other information and support. Remember, we can self-exclude easily from certain aspects of online gambling and gaming if we need to when it goes live in North Carolina.

Casinos in North Carolina

Are there casinos in North Carolina?

Yes, North Carolina has a total of four casinos and pari-mutuel facilities in the state, spread out across four cities including Murphy. Catawba Two Kings Casino is the latest to be erected and while you can play at the complex, there is a lot of development still going on. It's a pre-launch temporary gaming establishment now open for business in Kings Mountain, NC. The temporary casino incorporates a branded Catawba Two Kings Casino sportsbook with teller services. We can redeem betting vouchers at the 30 betting kiosks in the sportsbook and throughout the establishment.

What is the largest casino in North Carolina?

Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel is a more recently opened casino that is one of the biggest and most active in the state. The brick-and-mortar casino is located just outside the town of Murphy and offers all the entertainment and popular casino games you need, as well as 4-star accommodation and top-quality food and drink.

Do North Carolina casinos have hotels?

Yes, hotels, restaurants, and bars with entertainment are available at North Carolina casinos. Casinos and hotel resorts like Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy and Harrah's Cherokee are great for a couple's getaway with plenty of entertainment.

Online Casinos in North Carolina

Online casinos are illegal in North Carolina. You can still play at offshore sites like Bovada which is an unregulated sports betting and casino platform that operates in a legal and licensed (but not regulated) area.

Are online casinos legal in North Carolina?

No, online casinos or internet gambling of any sort are not legalized in the North Carolina gambling sector. There are currently some ways around this like using offshore books or playing at Sweepstakes casinos or cafes.

What North Carolina casinos will get an online license?

There are currently four tribal Indian brick-and-mortar casinos or bingo room establishments in North Carolina. The two biggest and most popular casinos are Harrah's Cherokee and Cherokee Valley River Casino. A bill has been proposed to the senate to potentially allow online gaming in 2023 and it remains to be seen if these casinos can and choose to take their business online. Catawba Two Kings Casino in King's Mountain is the newest casino on tribal grounds on the rise in NC.

Will I need to be a North Carolina resident to gamble online?

If you plan to internet gamble when the bill to legalize online gaming in North Carolina is passed, you'll need to be within state lines to do so as geo-location will be implemented. You don't have to reside in North Carolina to bet in the state. You must be 21 years of age or older too if you want to place a wager.

Is any kind of online gambling legal in North Carolina?

You are prohibited to gamble online in North Carolina, but you can wager in person at North Carolina casinos. The law makes it illegal to place online bets. Online gambling is not yet legal in any form in North Carolina but that will likely change in 2023. Sweepstakes casinos are a good alternative.

What type of lottery games are legal in North Carolina?

The North Carolina state lottery act governs the North Carolina Education Lottery which is a lotto with the aim of raising funds for Education. NC Lottery offers scratch-off games with big prizes. Draw games are available at retailers in the North Carolina gambling space, such as Keno, Fast Play games and more instant games.

Will I need to pay taxes on my gambling winnings?

North Carolina is one of the more unfavorable states for gamblers re federal taxes. NC does not allow you to itemize your gambling losses and offset them against profits. This means for example if you were to win $1000 and lose $1000 you still owe state income tax on the winnings. This will come in the form of income tax at a flat rate of 5.2%.

Casinos in North Carolina FAQs


Bryan Nicholson has a strong pedigree in sports betting and poker with vast experience working with variance and assessing probabilities. Bryan is the author of multiple books on sports betting including Hypnotised by Numbers and Angles and Edges. He is predominantly a golf betting expert who gladly expands his expertise into covering other top markets like hockey and football, and expect to see Bryan writing educational pieces from time to time as well.

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