This page offers detailed analysis of the North Carolina sports betting scene.
History of Sports Betting in North Carolina
North Carolina didn’t waste a ton of time in legalizing sports betting after the federal ban was lifted, but this is still a state with limited sports betting options. Lawmakers were quick to take advantage of the opportunity back in 2019, but they didn’t create a ton of great sports betting options for residents of the state.
The state legislature officially passed a law to legalize sports betting back in 2019, but it wasn’t until 2021 when the first sportsbook launched. There were actually two sportsbooks that went live in 2021, and both of them were opened by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Governor Roy Cooper worked with Native American tribes in the state to sign new gaming compacts that included sports betting. A third retail sportsbook launched in the state in September 2022, and that is all of the potential sportsbooks that can launch until a new bill is legalized.
What About Mobile Sports Betting?
Mobile sports betting in North Carolina is still illegal, but lawmakers in the state are working on it. It seemed as if a mobile sports betting bill was going to get passed in 2022, but things seemed to fall apart at the end of the year.
The good news is mobile sports betting is once again going to be at the center of discussion for lawmakers in 2023, and a bill is expected to at least come up for a vote. In January 2023 an amendment was added to the bill that would ban betting on college sporting events.
It’s unclear how the mobile sports betting market would look like in the state of North Carolina as not many details have been revealed. Don’t expect North Carolina to be a state that has a ton of mobile sports betting options even if a bill is passed.
What Can We Expect in 2023 and Beyond?
It appears as if an expanded sports betting market will come to North Carolina at some point, and operators are keeping a close eye on what is taking place. Lawmakers continue to introduce new bills that would expand sports betting, but there continue to be disagreements on some of the finer points of legislation.
Native American tribes in the state are not wanting to give up their current monopoly over the market, but they might not have a choice in the matter. North Carolina is never going to be a huge sports betting market the likes of New York, New Jersey, or Illinois, but there is a chance to make some significant progress.
Even if online sports betting is eventually legalized in 2023, you shouldn’t expect to see any online sportsbooks launch until at least late 2023, and more likely 2024.
Sports Teams to Bet on in North Carolina
North Carolina is the home of three major professional sports franchises. All three teams are loved throughout the state. The three franchises that play in North Carolina are the Carolina Panthers, the Charlotte Hornets, and the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Carolina Panthers played their first season in North Carolina in 1995. The team is a member of the NFC South in the NFL. The Panthers are owned by David Tepper and led by Steve Wilks. The Panthers have had a fairly successful run in their brief history as a franchise. They won the NFC South for three straight years from 2013 to 2015 and they won the NFC conference in 2015. The team has been unable to win a Super Bowl, but Wilks has the Panthers moving in the right direction, with a second-place finish in the NFC South in his first year at the helm.
The Charlotte Hornets are an NBA franchise that plays in the league’s Eastern Conference Southeast Division. The team is owned by Michael Jordan and coached by James Borrego. Ever since Michael Jordan became involved with the Hornets, interest in the team has grown around the state. The team was founded in 1988, but they have only been playing as the Hornets since 2014. They have no division or conference titles to their name.
The Carolina Hurricanes play in Raleigh. They are a member of the NHL’s Eastern Conference and play in the Metropolitan Division. The Hurricanes are coached by Rod Brind’Amour and have won one Stanley Cup in the 2005-06 season. The team won its first division title during the Covid-shortened 2021 season, finishing at the top of the Central Division. Proving it was no fluke, they also won the division crown after moving back to the Metro Division during the 2021-22 campaign.
FAQ for Betting in North Carolina
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes, sports betting is legal in the state of North Carolina, but only on a limited scale. Native American tribes in the state are able to offer retail wagering, but online betting is not allowed as of January 2023.
How does North Carolina sports betting rank nationally?
Since sports betting is only offered through retail sportsbooks on tribal property, the North Carolina sports betting market is extremely small. Most states that have sports betting see most of the wagers placed at online sportsbooks in the state.
Is mobile sports betting legal in North Carolina?
No, the initial North Carolina sports betting legislation does not include mobile wagering. This could change in the future, but it is still a legislative hangup as of December 2022.
What’s the legal sports betting age in North Carolina?
The legal sports betting age in North Carolina is 21 years of age.
Who runs the retail sportsbooks in North Carolina?
All of the retail sports betting in the state of North Carolina is run by Native American tribes and there are currently just three options. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates a pair of Caesars Sportsbooks and Catawba Nation just opened up another retail sportsbook in September 2022.
Can you bet on college sports in North Carolina?
Betting on college sports is allowed at the retail sportsbooks in North Carolina, but that might not be the case at online sportsbooks. If online sports betting does become legal, it is expected that there will be an amendment to ban this form of wagering.