Retail and Online Sportsbooks in North Carolina: An Overview

As legalized sports betting launches in more states nationwide, many sports fans and bettors are asking where to bet in North Carolina.

North Carolina sports betting isn’t expected to launch until March 2024. According to reports, March 11 is the target date for online sportsbooks like FanDuel and BetMGM to begin operating in the state.

But that doesn’t mean folks in NC are completely sidelined when trying their luck at gambling. While the calendar gets closer to the second week of March and the launch of online sports betting, Tar Heel State bettors can still place their wagers in person. 

Currently, the state boasts three different retail locations inside tribal casinos — Harrah’s Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and Catawba Two Kings Casino, which is operated by the Catawba Nation.

However, what’s the difference between North Carolina retail sportsbooks locations and online operators? 

Let’s take a look.

In-Person Betting

In-person betting in North Carolina is about as straightforward as it sounds. People looking to place wagers on their favorite sporting events or games can do so by walking into a brick-and-mortar retail betting location.

Harrah’s Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, and Catawba Two Kings Casino are the three options for wagering in person in North Carolina. 

And according to reports, in-person betting for the state has been a huge draw.

Recent reports revealed that the two Harrah’s properties alone attracted an estimated 4.2 million tourists to the state in 2023. Additionally, the Harrah’s casinos contributed more than $200 million in societal contributions last year.

While retail casinos are not nearly as accessible as online sportsbooks, the aforementioned numbers illustrate that they still have a huge economic impact on the state’s economy.

Online Operators

Regarding the online sports betting space, operators like DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM are just a few that come to mind. However, when online sports betting launches in March, bet365, FanDuel, ESPN BET, and Fanatics Sportsbook are the books that have secured partnerships with the state.

What are some advantages that accompany online sports betting?

The biggest bonus is accessibility. Once North Carolina launches online sports betting, residents and tourists can place wagers from their mobile devices and computers — regardless of where they are in the state.

With that accessibility comes increased revenue. Projections show that North Carolina could bring in more than $64 million in taxes in the first year. 

The Bottom Line

From a financial perspective, in-person betting at retail locations has already positively impacted North Carolina. Once online sports betting launches in March, the Tar Heel State will have another vehicle driving its economy.

However, the actual test of success might be months away.

Analyzing the year-over-year numbers of in-person and online betting next year and examining how the two have fared while operating in the state simultaneously could provide a better snapshot of their actual cultural and economic impact.


About the Author
Erica Renee Davis

Erica Renee Davis

Erica Renee Davis is a sports betting writer with Gaming Today. She graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Journalism and Political Science. After cheering as an NFL cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons, Erica moved to Los Angeles where she became the host of Kevin Pollak's This Week In Football digital show. Since then, she has appeared as an on-air host and sports commentator for NASCAR Digital Media, FOX Bet, Spectrum News 1 SoCal, CNN, HLN, and TEGNA's Daily Blast Live.

Get connected with us on Social Media