North Carolina Online Casinos 2020 - A Guide to Gambling in North Carolina

In the US, each state has its gambling laws, so it can be challenging to navigate the different rules. If you want to participate in gambling in North Carolina, reading our helpful guide can give you insight into the various legal issues you may encounter.

Our Online Casino North Carolina Reviews

gambling in North Carolina

North Carolina isn’t recognized for upholding radical betting laws. It’s highly regarded as one of the most conservative states in the US, only permitting a handful of gambling activities. Is online gambling legal in North Carolina? Unfortunately, no - online casinos and sportsbooks aren’t allowed in the Tar Heel state, but you have other legal alternatives that include tribal casinos, charitable raffles, and bingo.

In 1835, NC banned almost all gambling types, starting with the lottery, table games, and poker. In 1952, it imposed even stricter gambling laws after a temporary approval of pari-mutuel wagering and dog racing.

After half a century, the Tar Heel state opened the doors to its first tribal casino in 1997 after passing the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act. This legislation allowed tribes to establish legally operated casinos on their land, but it also contained a few rules. For instance, Cherokee casino games, initially restricted to electronic games, finally changed in 2012, allowing the introduction of casino table games.

The Legality Of Land-Based Casinos & Online Casinos In North Carolina

In 2005, the state lottery was launched, providing billions in state revenue. Next up was offline sports betting, which was only permitted at a small casino list in NC, namely two tribal casinos. In 2019, daily fantasy sports entered the scene, but it’s not adequately regulated.
As of 2020, the following gambling activities are legal in NC:

On the other hand, the following gambling activities are illegal:

  • Online casinos and sportsbooks
  • Commercial casinos
  • Horse racing
  • Greyhound racing

Right now, it doesn’t look like the state’s stance on online casinos will change. However, nothing is ever set in stone, so keep your eyes peeled for new updates.

If you’re itching to play a casino game, you can visit one of the state’s authorized social casino sites. You don’t have to risk any cash here, as the prizes are awarded through a sweepstake, which deems it legal.

Land-Based Gambling In North Carolina Today

Offline gambling in North Carolina is limited to tribal casinos, while online gambling is banned. After passing the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act passed, the state introduced its first tribal casino. There are now two tribal casinos, both owned by the Cherokee Nation and part of the Harrah’s brand.

The Cherokee Nation has a compact with NC that allows them to offer slots, live table games, and a sportsbook. Tribal casinos are permitted to operate Class 3 gaming machines, which is the same deal that Vegas casinos have. Under this compact, the Cherokee Nation needs to pay the state a specific percentage of its table game profits, which amounts to 5% of all revenues.

The compact also grants the tribe exclusive gaming rights until 2042. This means that even if the state wanted to legalize online casinos, they’d have a hard time doing so, primarily because it would violate the longstanding compact.

Additionally, tribes can’t extend their offerings online either, as they’re only allowed to cater to players within their zone. As a result, some players would fall outside of this area, contravening the regulations.

Below are the Cherokee casino games you will find in these NC casinos.

Unique Features
Casino Games

Harrah's Cherokee Hotel Resort & Casino 


Slots, Table Games, Sportsbook

3,500 Slots
100 Table Games

Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel


Slots, Table Games, Video Poker, Sportsbook

1,050 Slots
70 Table Games


Online Gambling Laws In North Carolina

cherokee casino gamesNC doesn’t permit online gambling at casinos and sportsbooks. It’s illegal for a person or an organization to operate, play, or bet on a game of chance that can win money. Furthermore, you can be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor for violating this law. This only applies to illegal gambling activities, as you can still engage in a handful of lawful betting events.

What Should I Know About Online Casinos in North Carolina?

  • NC doesn’t permit residents to gamble at online casinos, nor does it allow online sports betting.
  • You can visit two tribal casinos that offer slots, table games, and selected sports betting events.
  • Other legal gambling activities include charitable bingo and raffles, the lottery, and daily fantasy sports.
  • You must be 21 years old to gamble legally in NC.

Gambling Laws Governing Offshore Casinos & What It Means For North Carolina Players

You can’t play at an online casino for real money if you reside in NC, whether it’s onshore or offshore - the laws are clear. While it might be difficult for the state to catch perpetrators, you should still avoid playing at unregulated casinos for several reasons.

Firstly, you face the possibility of being charged with a crime, which isn’t favorable for anyone. Secondly, offshore casinos are notoriously known for withholding winnings and other shady dealings, so you stand the risk of losing your money, among other things.

The bottom line is that online gambling is illegal in NC. If you want to play at a casino, you’re better off visiting one of the land-based tribal enterprises.

Online Casino Games For North Carolina

Currently, there are no legal North Carolina online casinos. As a result, you won’t find any casino games for real money play. However, you can visit online social casinos to satiate your gaming desires, which involve no cash and operate solely on a sweepstakes basis.

These sites offer titles similar to Cherokee casino games, including slots and table games like blackjack and roulette. Additionally, you can participate in daily fantasy sports, which is currently legal but not yet fully regulated.

Gustavo El Luchador
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Gustavo El Luchador
The Sand Princess
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The Sand Princess
Outerspace Invaders
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Outerspace Invaders
Crazy Bunny Spin
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Crazy Bunny Spin

Payment Options at North Carolina Online Casinos

Since North Carolina online casinos aren’t permitted to operate, we don’t have any information on players’ preferred payment methods. However, if NC eventually legalizes this activity, we expect that other states’ popular payment options will also apply.

In states where online casinos are legal, many punters opt to use debit and credit cards, a safe and reliable payment form. Another option is PayPal, an e-wallet that allows you to conduct quick and convenient transactions. Other popular e-wallets include Skrill and Neteller, while bank transfers are also reasonably common. Occasionally, you can also encounter casinos that allow cryptocurrencies, although this is somewhat rare.

Gambling in North Carolina FAQs

Is online gambling legal in North Carolina?

No. Currently, NC still hasn’t legalized or regulated any form of online gambling. This applies to sports betting as well as online casinos. Furthermore, one of the few states that penalize unlawful gambling defines it as any game of chance that can award monetary prizes.

Can I play at an online casino in North Carolina via mobile or tablet?

Unfortunately, no. Since online gambling in North Carolina is currently illegal, there are no operators actively regulated by the state. As a result, you can’t play online at any North Carolina casinos through any device, whether mobile device or desktop.

What casino games can I play at North Carolina online casinos?

If the state permits online gambling in North Carolina in the future, you’ll likely have access to various casino games. The popular choices currently available at tribal casinos like Harrah's Cherokee Hotel Resort & Casino will also be instantly playable. Some examples include table and card games, slots, video poker, and specialty games like keno and bingo.

Is it possible to play online casino games with Dollars?

Although the American Dollar is one of the most widely accepted currencies, you can’t deposit any funds into an online casino account if you reside in NC. This is because playing casino games via the Internet is unlawful. Furthermore, offshore providers that accept Dollars are also forbidden under NC gambling laws.

Are North Carolina online casinos on this site regulated?

You won’t find any online casinos that cater to NC gamblers on our site, as it’s currently illegal. However, we do have a list of recommended online casinos for states that do allow online gambling. Furthermore, we ensure that every operator is appropriately licensed and regulated, providing you with peace of mind.

Am I eligible to receive an online casino bonus at a North Carolina Casino?

Bonus offers are standard practice in the casino industry, which means that almost every operator you encounter provides a sign-up incentive. However, until North Carolina casinos are allowed to migrate online, you won’t receive any casino bonuses.

How do I start playing for real money at a North Carolina online casino?

Unfortunately, there’s no legitimate way to participate in online gambling in NC. There are illegal options, but we highly suggest you refrain from risking your money and breaking the law.

You can now visit one of two tribal casinos in NC: Harrah's Cherokee Hotel Resort & Casino and Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.

Which online casino payment options are popular in North Carolina?

There’s no current information available on the popular online payment methods, as online casinos are banned. If NC legalizes online gambling, you can expect many operators to accept the standard payment options.

Do I need to pay taxes on my gambling winnings in North Carolina?

Before 2014, the state allowed residents a tax deduction for gambling losses, which meant that you could offset them against your winnings. For instance, $50,000 of wins and $50,000 of losses resulted in $0 tax owed.

The state has eliminated this deduction, which means that our example above is subject to taxes on the $50,000 winnings, regardless of loss.

Play Cherokee Casino Games At A Real Money North Carolina Casino & Walk Away A Winner!

We hope that our detailed guide to gambling in North Carolina has given you a better understanding of the laws surrounding online casinos and other types of betting activities. Always remember to stay safe and play responsibly while adhering to the relevant legislation.