North Carolina Online Sports Betting Guide 2024

Residents of the Tar Heel State have long been waiting for North Carolina sports betting to be legalized.

In this article, we’re going to take a deep dive into the legal situation regarding online sports betting in NC – is online sports betting legal in North Carolina?

We’ll also detail the best online sportsbooks in North Carolina that you can join today. But first things first – let’s unravel the legalities of sports betting in the Tar Heel State…

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Learn if online sports betting is legal in North Carolina.
  • Find out where you can place sports bets in person in NC.
  • Uncover the three best online sportsbooks you can join in the state today.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in North Carolina? 

The legal situation regarding North Carolina sports betting is complex. However, the key takeaway is that you can now legally place your sports bets online in NC.

Legislation was finally passed in June 2023 – several years after sports betting had debuted in other states across America. However, statute HB 347 has finally been approved. You may have been wondering, ‘what US states have online sports betting?’  Well, there is now a new addition to the list in the form of North Carolina.

Sports fans in the Tar Heel State had to wait until March 2024 for the North Carolina sports betting launch, when the first retail and online sportsbooks opened their doors. They had missed out on being live for the Super Bowl, the biggest wagering event in North America, by just a matter of weeks.

The basic rules of online sports betting North Carolina are the same as in most other states: you need to be aged 21 or older to legally place your wagers, with your online sportsbook site and app verifying your identity during the registration process.

Currently, eight sportsbook brands have been granted licenses to operate on North Carolina soil, with the possibility of more being added in the future.

Fun fact: Sports betting was legalized in North Carolina on March 11, 2024.

10 Quick Facts About North Carolina’s Sports Betting Laws 

The journey to legal online sports betting North Carolina has not been smooth sailing, with several previous attempts to legalize the industry rejected by state officials.

However, legal sports betting North Carolina is now up and running, so here are 10 key facts about placing your wagers in NC:

  1. Name of the law: House Bill 347 is the legal statute that has lifted the previous prohibition on sports wagering in North Carolina. North Carolina sports betting laws have legalized both retail and online sports betting, with bettors in NC able to place their wagers with any of the licensed sportsbooks while on state soil.
  2. Legal age: North Carolina allows those aged 21 and over to place wagers on sports betting.
  3. State borders: North Carolina borders the Atlantic Ocean and four states:
    • Virginia
    • Tennessee
    • Georgia
    • South Carolina
  4. Retail bookmakers: Many of the key sportsbook brands are available only online in NC. However, there are three tribal casinos available in North Carolina. I’ve wagered on football at the two Caesars sportsbooks at Harrah’s casino resorts, while there’s a third option at the Catawba Two Kings Casino.
  5. Taxes: You’ll have to pay the North Carolina sports betting tax of 4.5% on your action. Unusually, losses cannot be deducted from your winnings, so you’ll likely end up paying tax even if you don’t post a positive return for the year.
    Use our North Carolina sports betting tax calculator for a more accurate view.
  6. Tribal compacts: Retail sports betting in North Carolina is available via a partnership between Caesars and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The Catawba people also allow sports betting via their Two Kings property.
  7. Regulator: The pre-existing North Carolina State Lottery Commission has been handed the power to regulate the sector in the NC. It can issue licenses and sanction those brands that don’t operate in a way that’s consistent with its licensing requirements.
  8. Online sportsbooks: Eight sportsbook brands are currently available online in North Carolina:
    • BetMGM
    • FanDuel
    • DraftKings
    • Bet365
    • Caesars
    • ESPN Bet
    • Fanatics
    • Underdog
  9. Betting markets: So comprehensive is legal sports betting North Carolina that you’ll find all your favorite betting markets and lines available – covering both professional and college sports.
  10. First bet placed: Governor Ray Cooper, who was responsible for passing the HB 347 statute, placed the first sports bet in North Carolina on March 11, 2024: the Carolina Hurricanes to win the Stanley Cup.

How to Bet on Sports in North Carolina? 

As I started my sports betting journey in North Carolina, I noticed how quick and easy it is to register for a new customer account.

You can navigate to your chosen sportsbook on your computer or, if you prefer North Carolina mobile sports betting, using your smartphone or tablet. If you need help selecting from the available North Carolina sports betting apps, you’ll find some pointers in the next section of this article.

  1. Hit the sign-up button to start the registration process: This is quick and easy, with all of your personal details kept perfectly safe. Complete the sign-up form, and the sportsbook will verify your identity.
  2. Next, you’ll need to make a deposit: Remember to fulfill the requirements of any North Carolina sports betting promos you have claimed (you may be asked to enter your North Carolina sports betting promo codes, for example). 
  3. Once your deposit is accepted, you can begin your North Carolina mobile sports betting journey.

My first bet in April 2024 was a moneyline backing the Hornets to beat the Cavaliers – they did, and my own personal voyage into NC sports wagering was underway.

Top North Carolina Sports Betting Sites and Apps

There’s more than a handful of North Carolina sports betting sites that you can choose from. So, how do you pick the best legal sports betting apps in North Carolina?

You want the best North Carolina sports betting promotions, of course, but please note the importance of a user-friendly website or app, comprehensive sports coverage, and extra features such as live streaming.

Here are three of the finest North Carolina sports betting sites to get you started.

DraftKings

  • Welcome Offer: Wager $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Wagering Requirement: Place a bet of $5 on any eligible market

DraftKings has become a stalwart of sports betting across the US, and it delivers everything that most bettors look for in their sportsbook. There’s a huge A-Z of sports, as well as in-depth market coverage that ranges from moneyline, spreads, and totals, to player and team props, quarter and half betting, and lines that you won’t find anywhere else. 

DraftKings Sportsbook also offers one of the most generous North Carolina sports betting bonuses – a guaranteed $150 in bonus bets (paid in six $25 installments) after you deposit and wager $5 on a qualifying bet.

FanDuel

  • Welcome Offer: Wager $5, If It Wins Get $200 in Bonus Bets
  • Minimum Deposit: $5
  • Wagering Requirement: Place a bet of $5 on any eligible market

FanDuel has been operating as a sportsbook on US soil since 2018, and now has a presence in more than two dozen states – proof that this is a brand that can be trusted to deliver a first-class wagering experience.

This is one of those North Carolina sports betting bonuses that come with a caveat your qualifying bet has to win to unlock the bonus payout, but there’s no minimum odds requirement for your first wager. If this pick wins, you’ll receive $200 in bonus bet funds.

With a remarkable rewards program, which ensures that every wager you place counts toward unlocking an array of gifts and perks, FanDuel Sportsbook is a solid choice for bettors in NC. 

Caesars

  • Welcome Offer: Up to $1,000 Back If Your First Bet Loses
  • Minimum Deposit: $10
  • Wagering Requirement: You must place a bet on any eligible market within 30 days of opening a Caesars account.

Of all the North Carolina sports betting promotions that are available, claiming one that gives you what is, essentially, a risk-free bet is a smart way to go.

However, you don’t have to place a qualifying wager of $1,000 – my first bet was considerably lower after joining Caesars Sportsbook. Just know that the casino will match your initial stake (between $10 and $1,000).

One of the reasons that Caesars is so loved is its massive range of prop lines – perhaps the largest in North Carolina. It also offers live streaming for many sporting events, so this is a great way to watch and spot value betting opportunities in play.

Popular Sports and Teams in the North Carolina Betting Scene 

There’s no shortage of high-quality sports teams in North Carolina, with a former Stanley Cup champion joined in NC by NFL and NBA stalwarts. 

Here’s a look at the most popular North Carolina sports teams for fans and bettors alike:

  • Carolina Panthers: A member of the NFL since 1995, the Carolina Panthers have twice won the NFC Conference Championship (2003 and 2015). They play their home games at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
  • Charlotte Hornets: The Charlotte Hornets play in the NBA’s Southeast Division, with home games taking place at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. They were once part-owned by the legendary Michael Jordan.
  • Carolina Hurricanes: The Carolina Hurricanes are the Tar Heel State’s premier ice hockey team. They won the Stanley Cup at the end of the 2005/06 season. 
  • Charlotte FC: Soccer fans in North Carolina can get their fix at the Bank of America Stadium, which Charlotte FC shares with the Panthers. They played their inaugural season in Major League Soccer in 2022.
  • Haas F1: Not many states can lay claim to having their Formula One team! Haas F1 is headquartered in Kannapolis, North Carolina, and is regarded as Ferrari’s unofficial satellite team.

As well as playing host to a number of professional sports teams, North Carolina also welcomes an array of unmissable sporting events to state soil:

  • NASCAR: As many as 15 NASCAR racing teams have set up home in North Carolina, while the Charlotte Motor Speedway track has hosted two NASCAR Cup Series races every year since 1960.
  • PGA TOUR: Two NC golf courses, Quail Hollow and Sedgefield Country Club, host the Wells Fargo Championship and Wyndham Championship respectively. The 2024 US Open was played at the Pinehurst Resort.

College Sports

North Carolina also has a rich history of success in college sports:

  • University of North Carolina: The North Carolina Tar Heels have won 50 national championships, including seven in basketball and a staggering 21 in women’s soccer.
  • Duke University: At the time of writing, Duke’s Blue Devils have 17 national championships to their name, with basketball, golf, and lacrosse, in particular, sports in which the college has shown great distinction.
  • North Carolina State: The Wolfpack, as their teams are known, have won five national championships: two in men’s basketball, and three in women’s cross-country running.

From Stephen Curry to Mia Hamm, North Carolina has produced many masters of their craft over the years. However, it’s Michael Jordan, who was raised in Wilmington, who is perhaps NC’s greatest sporting son.

The Impact of Local Teams on Sports Betting 

As if to prove how many sports fans in North Carolina love their local teams, you only need to look at the attendance figures for their games.

Fun fact: In 2023, the Panthers’ average attendance was a massive 71,635, while the Hornets and the Hurricanes averaged 16,449 and 19,526, respectively.

As you can imagine, these three teams also prove hugely popular with bettors in NC and beyond, as do the state’s college sports teams – according to reports:

More than $2.7bn was wagered on March Madness in 2024 alone.

One of my personal betting highlights of the year is when the Panthers take on the Atlanta Falcons. It is a local rivalry between two geographically connected teams that also joined the NFC South division in the same year.

Upcoming Events

With so much action in team and individual sports in North Carolina, the sporting schedule is jam-packed throughout the year. To mark your card, here’s a look at the upcoming events taking place on NC soil soon.

Are There More Gambling Options in North Carolina? 

We know that retail and online sports betting are live and legal in North Carolina, but what about other gambling options in the state?

  • Horse Racing: When HB 347 was passed into law in 2023, it included a section dedicated to horse racing – so, yes, bettors in North Carolina can legally wager on the sport. This includes parimutuel wagering. One famous horse racing landmark in North Carolina is the Pinehurst Harness Track, which has hosted the Spring Matinee Harness Races for nearly 75 years.
  • LandBased Casinos: Although casino gaming, as a general rule, is prohibited in North Carolina, bettors can play their favorite games at the state’s three tribal casinos:
    • Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort
    • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
    • Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino
  • Poker: While online poker is prohibited, you can play poker in person at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

Maximizing Your Bets

So, you can legally wager on sports in North Carolina – but how do you go about maximizing the return on your bets?

Tips and Strategies for North Carolina Bettors 

There is no secret sauce for becoming a winning sports bettor – it’s likely that you’ll win some and lose some. However, the ideal scenario is to win more bets than you lose.

No doubt, you want to know how to get better at sports betting by improving this golden ratio. Fundamentally, this means placing more bets that can be considered good value – for example, where the odds reflect the probability of the outcome occurring.

  • Do your research: One of the best ways to spot value bets is by doing your research. When I started out in sports betting, I placed my wagers based on gut instinct. This can work for a while, but eventually, you need to be making selections that are backed by credible stats: so take a deep dive into the data to unearth worthy favorites and dangerous outsiders.
  • Understanding the sports betting odds: One of the key mistakes that newcomers to sports betting make is not knowing exactly what value they’re getting.
    Example: Imagine that you’re buying a new TV. You know a price that would be a bargain, a price that would be fair, and a price that would be a rip-off. Sports betting is no different – knowing when you’re on the ‘right side’ of the odds is key.
  • Manage your bankroll: It’s not just about placing winning bets either. Staking appropriately – around 2% to 5% of your overall bankroll – is key, as is avoiding pitfalls such as chasing losses.

Understanding Taxes and Payouts 

Some bettors genuinely forget that, down the line, they’re going to have to file their taxes relating to their NC sports betting activity. However, this doesn’t have to be a headache if you plan appropriately.

We have produced an in-depth guide on the subject, answering questions such as:

  • How much are sports betting taxes?
  • When should you file your return?

Do you have to file betting returns in North Carolina? Yes. And unusually, you cannot deduct your losses from your winnings:

  • If your total winnings exceed $600, then you’ll automatically receive a W-2G to fill out to let the IRS know.
  • If your winnings are below this, you have to declare them via the W-2G form – so, remember to keep on top of your winnings to avoid fines!

→ Learn more about sports betting taxes in our detailed guide.

What About Physical Sports Betting Locations? 

Although this information is subject to change, there are currently three retail properties in North Carolina at which you can place your sports bets:

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort

You’ll find a dedicated Caesars sportsbook at the Harrah’s casino resort in the Cherokee district. It’s open from morning until late into the evening.

Website: caesars.com/harrahs-cherokee

Great stop. First time in this casino. Beautiful facility. Staff was super helpful… The free bonus cash to get started was a welcome surprise. Would easily go back.

Annah, from Google Review

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel

There’s a second Harrah’s property at the River Casino, which also plays host to a Caesars sportsbook.

Website: caesars.com/harrahs-cherokee-valley-river

Had a great time at this casino… I’ll definitely visit again in the future.

Maggie, from Google Review

Catawba Two Kings Casino

Head to the Kings Mountain region and you’ll find the Two Kings Casino, which has its own sportsbook that’s open 24 hours a day.

Website: twokingscasino.com

This a place you can easily lose time. It small in size but BIG IN ATMOSPHERE, just looking for a fun experience this is the place.

A regular visitor

So, Will You Bet from North Carolina Tonight? 

Hopefully, you will have learned a lot about sports betting in North Carolina from this article – chiefly, that it’s live and legal. So, you can head off and register for an online account at the NC sportsbook that most piques your interest, or suits your particular betting style.

Do you want to improve your sports wagering further? You’ll find our sports betting calculators a great help in working out your potential returns from a wager, while our Kelly Calculator will aid you in determining the ideal stake size for your bet based on your bankroll.