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It’s been a slow road to bring North Carolina sports betting to life. Although there are recent movements to open retail sportsbooks to the state, online sports betting in North Carolina is still not in the cards anytime soon. 

Sports betting in North Carolina is legal at two casinos in the western part of the state, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in the town of Cherokee, and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy.

A new casino, Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, is slated to open later this year.  It is unclear if that casino will offer sports betting. 

North Carolina Sports Betting Recent Updates

Sports betting in North Carolina did not become legal until March 2021. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operate the two casinos in the Smoky Mountain region of the state. The Book, as it is called, opened at both the Cherokee and Murphy locations just in time for March Madness.

Legalization Efforts In North Carolina

Two bills have been introduced in North Carolina, Senate Bill 688 and House Bill 631. The bills would allow for up to 12 licenses for mobile betting. Existing casinos could have a physical structure for bets, like The Book, but the bills do not authorize new casinos. 

The bills have been referred to various committees but have not seen any legislative action. 

The North Carolina General Assembly 2021 session ends July 2. The crossover date, meaning the day in which bills must pass from the chamber they originated in to the other body, is May 13. If lawmakers don’t pass the legislation before that date, it is unlikely North Carolina will see online betting before 2022. Leaving it trailing behind many other states who legalized online betting in 2021. 

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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