Sports Betting in North Carolina: an In-Depth Guide

North Carolina would be the last (or nearly the last, as we have yet to see Hawaii and Utah take the bait) of the US states to legalize sports betting. But, as they say in the business, better late than never, and even though North Carolina is at the tail end, it’s starting the year with a bang! So what’s the real deal with sports betting in the Tar Heel state, and where is it headed? Sports betting in North Carolina is still in its infancy, we must admit, but it has already made a lot of progress, and the good thing is, it’s catching up quickly! Here, then, is your in-depth guide to sports betting in North Carolina.

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📖 Published on: March 12th, 2024

✍️ Updated: 4 weeks ago

⏳ 19 mins read

Introduction to Sports Betting in North Carolina

As of the moment – the moment being mid-March of 2024 – North Carolina has proudly joined the list of states that have finally allowed sports betting. It is the 30th state to do so, and in fact, online sports betting was launched just a week ago – on the 11th of March, 2024. Since its launch, it has made more than a few bettors happy, and with eight sports betting sites in the state, players have plenty of choices among them. They include heavy favorites like DraftKings, bet365, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars, but the list also includes some up-and-coming names in sports betting that could give these big names something else to talk about. Along with this, bettors can also take advantage of three sports betting retail sites in NC. So what can you really expect when you make a wager in North Carolina, and why did it take so long before its lawmakers could see reason?

Legalization and Regulatory Framework

As we mentioned, there are several leading sports betting sites that now operate in NC and pave the way for North Carolina sports betting, namely Caesars, FanDuel, BetMGM, bet365, DraftKings, and more. Sports betting became fully legal and regulated in NC on the 11th of March, at noontime, as players eagerly awaited it – some even went so far as to throw a launch party!

But to answer your question, “Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?”: the answer is yes, sports betting is legal and operational in the Tar Heel state, and you can download eight sports betting apps right this minute. From the abovementioned online sports betting apps to two retail sports betting sites at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and one in Charlotte, the Catawba Two Kings Casino, sports betting in NC is alive and well. So if you’re in North Carolina and raring to see what all the fuss is about, you have two options: you can either physically go to a sports betting site or visit an online sportsbook from your mobile phone or PC.

So when did it all come about? Admittedly, the journey wasn’t the easiest – but thanks to the perseverance of a chosen few, the law was finally passed. It all started when Rep. Jason Saine filed the sports betting bill in the North Carolina General Assembly on the 13th of March, 2023. Then Governor Roy Cooper signed the bill into law on the 14th of June. What’s interesting is that in-person sports betting was legalized way before online sports betting, in 2019.

Anyone who is over the age of 21 can make a sports bet, and it’s also legal to place bets on pro sports leagues aside from betting on college sports. The only exception is high school sports – as with most states where sports betting is allowed, nobody can bet on high school sports. The North Carolina Lottery Commission is the regulatory body in charge of licensing and checking North Carolina sports books, and it’s the same body in charge of the North Carolina Education Lottery.

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Best Online Betting Sites in North Carolina

The experts all agree that there are quite a lot of sports betting sites that now operate in the state – as of last count, the legal sports betting sites in North Carolina are 8 – although the state is allowed a maximum number of 11 sports betting platforms. These are just a few of the top sports betting North Carolina sites in 2024, and these are all household names:

 

Caesars

Since Caesars Sportsbook already operates in two locations in North Carolina, namely Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel and Casino and Harrah’s Cherokee Hotel and Casino, NC natives are very much familiar with Caesars. Is it any wonder, then, that Caesars has gained the top spot among sports betting sites in the state? Caesars is now fully operational in NC, and it is topped by its Caesars Rewards program, which is certainly the one to beat. As for bonuses, new players can benefit from Caesars’ “Bet $10, get $250 in Bonus Bets,” and just input the code LSRNC.

Caesars sportsbook NC promo code image

 

BetMGM

Next on the list of top NC sports betting sites is BetMGM, which has partnered with the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Its solid footing is characterized by a robust menu filled with plenty of betting markets, coupled with some amazing features and top consumer scores. Especially popular among bettors is the Edit My Bet element, which allows bettors to subtract (or add) legs to a particular bet they have made. The welcome bonus is sweet as well: you can just bet $5 and receive $150 instantly (in bonus bets) with the code PLAYLSR.

BetMGM sportsbook NC promo code image

 

FanDuel

Of course, what’s a sports betting list without FanDuel? It has already become popular around the country, and it’s no surprise that FanDuel has also amassed a huge following in North Carolina. Admittedly, one of the best things about FanDuel is its odds as well as its user-friendly site that’s very appealing to new users. Plus, FanDuel is popular because of its easy payout system and its same-game parlay element. There is a cool welcome bonus as well, and there is no code: you can receive $5 and get up to $250 in bonus bets.

FanDuel sportsbook NC promo code image

 

Bet365

Bet365 is another sportsbook that has made waves in a lot of states, and it was actually the first to make a deal with a North Carolina sports team, the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA, in 2023. Needless to say, many users like the Bet365 app because it’s user-friendly, plus it’s got invaluable customer support and relatively easy payouts. One fan favorite is Bet365’s personalized display and its daily boosts. For the welcome bonus, just use the code LSRNC, and you can either get up to $200 in bonus bets as long as you bet $5, or you can get your first bet a safety net of up to $1K in bonus bets.

Bet365 sportsbook NC promo code image

 

DraftKings

Last but certainly not the least (far from it!), DraftKings takes center stage once more, this time in North Carolina, with its sleek app and innovative features like live bets and the chance to compete with your friends in small tournaments. What could be cooler than that? You can get as much as $1300 in your welcome bonus, and for this, a code isn’t necessary.

DraftKings sportsbook NC promo code image

How to Place Bets in North Carolina

North Carolina online sports betting doesn’t differ much from sports betting in other states, and the signup process for each sportsbook is relatively similar. If you’re familiar with it, all you have to do is download the mobile app for the sportsbook you want, or you can also download the site on your PC or laptop (though most of the players we know – including us – prefer the mobile app version). Once you have downloaded or installed the app on your device, you simply have to register/sign up for an account.

Don’t forget to input the promo code of your chosen sportsbook! Then all you have to do is make a deposit to your account using your preferred payment method, then the rest is even simpler: place your very first bet!

North Carolina online sports betting image

North Carolina Sports Betting Bonuses and Promotions

In North Carolina, bettors can benefit from a plethora of bonuses and promotions whenever they bet or even just log in to their account. It’s important for you to know what each sportsbook’s bonuses and promos are so you can use them to further help you in your betting quest. But what are the popular bonuses and promotions being offered by sportsbooks nowadays? Let’s have a look.

 

Deposit Bonus

Of course, who could ever forget the deposit bonus? Many of us already have an idea of how it works, but to refresh your memory, the deposit bonus is usually given to first-time depositors, and it is designed to match whatever amount you have deposited, as long as it’s in line with the sportsbook’s amount.

Say you deposited $100 to bet on a sportsbook – then that sportsbook will usually match your deposit 100% and give you $100 in bonus credits as well. You can then use the match credits given to you by the sportsbook to wager on any sports event or match.

Remember that you can’t withdraw the credit amount given by the sportsbook until you have fulfilled the sportsbook’s set requirements for playthrough.

North Carolina sports betting bonus image

 

Odds Boost

The odds boost is favored by many players because it’s just what its name implies: basically, you will get an inflated line (an odds boost) in order to create a more appealing wager. Keep your eye on this, as some sportsbooks tend to pick bets daily to create an odds boost.

 

Bonus on the First Bet

With the first bet bonus, you are supposed to get certain site credits up to a set amount if you have wagered and lost. But there’s a catch: if you win, you won’t get anything; you’ll only get something if you lose on your first wager.

 

Loyalty Program

You may already have an idea of what a loyalty program is as well, but these loyalty programs are a great way for sportsbooks to reward regular players with free credits or bonuses to their accounts. In other words, it keeps bettors engaged.

When you join a rewards program, you are bound to get a ton of freebies and bonuses such as merchandise, gift cards, retail purchases, bonus bets (our favorite!), and other exclusive perks.

It’s important to remember, though, that some of these bonuses and promotional offers come with various terms & conditions – so make sure to read and understand them first; it’ll save you a lot of headache later on.

Depositing and Withdrawing Funds

There are different ways through which you can make a deposit or withdraw funds as a bettor in North Carolina sports betting online. As with most other legal gambling platforms, sportsbooks readily accept credit cards and debit cards along with rewards cards and gift cards, and deposits with these payment methods are instant.

Aside from this, Play+ is also accepted, and so are eWallets (PayPal, Venmo, Skrill, Apple Pay), online banking (PayNearMe, wire and bank transfers, and eChecks), and cash at the casino cage. But you cannot deposit by mailing a check, and you cannot withdraw using rewards/gift cards and credit cards.

If you are planning to withdraw your winnings, almost all of the above payment methods are also accepted, although the withdrawal process can differ according to the payment method. See below:

Payment method: Time to withdraw:
Debit cards One to three days
Play+ One to four days
eWallets One to three days
Online banking One to five days
Check by mail Seven to 21 days

Sports betting in North Carolina image

Note that not all of these payment methods are accepted at every sportsbook in North Carolina, so it’s best to check out each sportsbook and see if the payment methods you prefer using are allowed.

Advantages of Betting Online in North Carolina

Many of us love the convenience and freedom of betting online – after all, you can do it from anywhere (provided you are within North Carolina state lines, of course) and you can wager at any time.

 

Sign up for a whole array of sportsbooks

One distinct advantage of online sports betting North Carolina (and in other states, for that matter) is that you have the freedom to sign up with a whole array of sportsbooks. This way, you can take advantage of a whole bunch of deposit bonuses, a lot of promos and freebies, and expert guides and tools from each and every one. We’re not saying you should be a regular member of all these sportsbooks, but it will help you decide which sportsbook to deal with in the end.

 

Customer support at your fingertips

Another reason why many players love sports betting online in NC is that you have a lot of customer service options to choose from in case you have an issue or question. You’d be amazed at the speediness of some sportsbooks – they make it a point to respond right away! And you’ll have different options at your fingertips as well – be it phone, live chat, email, and even social media.

 

A lot of sports to bet on – including DFS and horse betting

Yet one more reason why bettors like to wager in North Carolina is that there are plenty of sports to wager on – it doesn’t just include the usual, like the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB – it also includes college sports, which is a big deal because some states (like New Jersey, for instance) don’t allow sports betting on college sports. Here’s a tip: if you want in on some solid action, bet on one of the biggest rivalries in college basketball: UNC versus Duke – you’d certainly have one of the most interesting matches! You also have a chance to play DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports), and online horse betting is now legal in NC as well. In addition, North Carolina sportsbooks offer sports that are not that popular in the US, such as lacrosse, Australian rules football, darts, cricket, softball, and sailing, among many others. The more, the merrier, we always say.

As you can see, there are plenty of sports to wager on in North Carolina – and it’s where you can get a lot of action (and win big).

Online sports betting North Carolina image

Accessible bonuses and promotions

Like we mentioned earlier, signing up for a whole array of sportsbooks in NC gives you the added advantage of picking up all the welcome bonuses you can find. But these sportsbooks have other bonuses and promotions you can benefit from, such as odds boosts, loyalty programs, and first bet bonuses.

 

The Legality and Future of Sports Betting in North Carolina

In all honesty, we’re really glad that North Carolina has finally joined the bandwagon and accepted sports betting in the state. Better late than never, as they say! Now, it doesn’t mean that North Carolina will soon be accepting online casino gambling (in fact, all indications say no - not yet), but legalizing online sports betting is a step in the right direction. Even though retail gambling in the Tar Heel State is legal at three tribal casinos, the lawmakers have heeded the call of local residents and legalized sports betting – it’s about time, if you ask us!

North Carolina vintage photo image

And the forecast for online sports betting in North Carolina is strong in the state, as researchers predict that online sports betting will generate $65 million in taxes from the first year of operations alone. Sports has always been popular in North Carolina, and with online sports betting covering the three professional sports - NHL, NBA, NFL, and throw MLS and NWSL into the mix - it’s a stark advantage. Add in the endless allure and popularity of college sports – especially college basketball – then online sports betting in the state is on the right track.

 

Our Final Thoughts

It looks like North Carolina online sports betting has gone beyond our expectations – and we’re not finished with the first month yet! Everything is looking good for online sports betting in the state, and everyone is happy – from the players to the sportsbooks to the lawmakers who are set to make huge tax dollars at the end of the year.

If you are seriously thinking of trying out the many sportsbooks in North Carolina, go ahead – it will hardly make a dent in your wallet, but you’re guaranteed to have a great time while you’re at it. Just remember, of course, to bet responsibly and only wager with money you can afford to lose – but if you follow these rules, you’re certain to have a good ol’ time.

FAQ

Who can participate in sports betting in North Carolina?

Anyone who is 21 and older can sign up for any sportsbook in North Carolina. They don't have to be a resident, either - as long as they are within the borders of the state, they can sign up.

Is it legal to bet on sports in North Carolina?

Yes, sports betting is legal and regulated in North Carolina as of the 11th of March, 2024. You can choose between 8 different sportsbooks that operate in the state, and you can also choose to bet on 3 retail or land-based sportsbooks.

Which sportsbooks can I bet on in North Carolina?

You can sign up and bet on a total of eight sportsbooks in North Carolina, and some examples include BetMGM, bet365, Caesars, FanDuel, DraftKings, and more.

How long does North Carolina sportsbooks take to pay out?

It depends on the payout method you choose, which can be debit card, Play+ card, eWallets, online banking, or even check by mail, but it generally takes between 1 day to 5 days, with check by mail taking the longest at 7 to 21 days.

Author
Wia Van Cauwenberghe
Editor | Writer

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