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North Carolina Casinos & Gambling Laws

Recently updated on November 8th, 2019

Best North Carolina Casinos USANorth Carolina is one of the few states that allows minors to play bingo. This interesting fact is just one of many about the Southern state that allows commercial and tribal gaming. However, they don’t allow online gambling and that’s just criminal. So, if you want to find out what’s allowed in the state, then this guide is for you.

In the state of North Carolina, there are some pretty standard laws. They only have three casinos and no racecourses. In fact, they’re more focused on bingo, which is fine; just boring.

Thus, gambling in the state is pretty reserved. At least they have a poker room and a state lottery for jackpot hopefuls.

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Legalization in North Carolina

  • Year North Carolina Regulated Gambling: bingo (1945), Cherokee casinos (1997), lottery (2005).
  • Estimated Tax Revenue from Gambling: US$506 million.
  • Estimated Gambling Revenue: US$1.85 billion.
  • North Carolina Gambling Age: 18 for lottery, 21 for casinos, no minimum for bingo and raffles.
  • Smoking ban: the state bans smoking in all indoor businesses. It does not apply to Cherokee’s casinos.
  • North Carolina Online Gambling: not legal.

North Carolina Gambling Laws

No online gambling is allowed in North Carolina, though some operators still take players from the state. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) operators are allowed to do so, technically. They claim to be skill-based and therefore aren’t offering gambling. Casino operators can’t be licensed in the state, nor can any sportsbooks that take bets. Since state laws are pretty old and unlikely to change in the near future.

However, they do have some fairly recent amendments. In the 1990s, video poker snuck through some grey areas. Although it was subsequently banned when the lottery started in 2005. Having possession of any video poker machine is a misdemeanor. More so, repeat offenders are considered to be committing a felony. Even sweepstakes machines couldn’t escape the noose because they mimic slots.

In addition, the state lottery can only sell scratch cards and lottery tickets at land-based retailers. Purchasing these over the Internet is strictly forbidden. Charities offering bingo can only do so twice a week and prizes can’t exceed $500.

Conversely, raffles can only operate twice a year with a maximum cash prize of $10,000. Non-cash prizes can go up to US$50,000. Offering small stakes bingo under US$10 is legal for any operator because it’s considered a social game.

North Carolina Casinos

Top Casinos in North Carolina

At casinos within North Carolina, players can enjoy the usual assortment of slot machines and table games. The state allows games including blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, baccarat, and sic bo at brick-and-mortar casinos.

However, horse racing is not allowed and off-track betting is illegal. Since there are no tracks in the state, punters can’t bet on it. Electronic games like slots are allowed at casinos run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Games of chance can only be offered on tribal lands. Other gambling venues can be used for charity casino events and lotteries.

Gambling Casinos in North Carolina

The main Cherokee casino resort in North Carolina is Harrah’s Cherokee. In fact, they boast a 150,000 square foot casino space with 1,100 hotel rooms.

Under current laws, they can offer a full suite of games on the money property. Playing at or betting at the casino is perfectly fine. However, general statutes state that only players 21 years or older can gamble at casinos.

In addition to Harrah’s Cherokee, the tribe operates Harrah’s Cherokee Valley and Harrah’s Thunder Valley. These resorts are smaller, so they operate on a smaller scale. They also have a high-stakes bingo hall on the reservation.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort – Cherokee3,500 Slot Machines777 Casino
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Hotel & Casino – Murphy1,000 Slot Machines777 Casino
Cherokee Tribal Bingo – CherokeeOnly Bingo91 Bingo Loop
North Carolina Gambling

Gambling History

All types of gambling were illegal in North Carolina until 1945 when it legalized bingo and raffles for charities. In 1994, the Cherokee tribe negotiated a gaming pact with the state.

Then, in 1997, the Harrah’s Cherokee held a grand opening. All slots required skill, as well as video poker and electronic table games.

Another gaming compact in 2013 allowed the tribe to offer live table games. They were not allowed to sell alcohol until 2016. Comping drinks is also forbidden by the tribe.

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