The best online casinos in North Carolina 2023
Enjoy social games at a top online casino in North Carolina. Our experts have ranked the best online casinos and sportsbooks in the Tar Heel State for games range, bonuses, and casino apps. Learn more about online gambling in North Carolina or start playing at a legal site below. (Edited by Steve Bittenbender)
Our top recommended North Carolina online casinos
North Carolina casinos to avoid
The best online casinos in North Carolina
North Carolina has yet to legalize online sports or casino gambling. Currently, NC players can get their fill of casino fun at online social and sweepstakes sites. You can find our top recommended free casinos listed below.
If you want to play a wide variety of online slot games for free in North Carolina, WOW Vegas has you covered. With over 400 thrilling slot selections to choose from, you won't find a much better variety throughout the industry. You will get 1.5m ‘WOW Coins’ just for joining and earn more as you play games. Plus, you can use ‘WOW Vegas Sweepstakes Coins’ to play for legit cash.
WOW Vegas bonus: Get 1.5m 'WOW Coins' + 30 free Sweepstake Coins for signing up.
Read our WOW Vegas casino review
Pulsz is a sweepstakes casino site with over two decades of experience providing a gaming platform. Use your 367k free Gold Coins to gear up for the ‘Great Coin Splash’ and get to know the latest new slots from industry-leading providers. You can play on mobile easily in North Carolina with the exclusive Pulsz app for Android and iOS.
Pulsz Casino bonus: 367,000 ‘Gold Coins’ + 32.3 Sweeps Coins free on sign-up.
Read our Pulsz Casino review
High 5 Casino
High 5 Games launched its online social gaming platform in 2012 and has continued to make waves across the sweepstakes casino industry ever since. Thanks to hundreds of exclusive games, excellent mobile capabilities, efficient customer support services, and generous daily rewards, there’s a lot to like about High 5 Casino in North Carolina.
High 5 Casino bonus: Get 5 Sweepstakes coins, 250 free Gold Coins, and 600 diamonds.
Read our High 5 Casino review
If you are feeling lucky, head over to McLuck and receive 57,500 ‘Gold Coins’, which can be used to play over 300 free-of-charge slot games. Plus, you'll enjoy 2.5 ‘Sweepstakes Coins’ for free, of which you can earn more as you play and with ‘Gold Coin’ purchases. You can play games for real money using ‘Sweepstakes Coins’ and up the ante on the online slot fun at McLuck.
McLuck casino bonus: Get 57,500 'Gold Coins' and 27.5 free 'Sweepstakes Coins.'
Read our McLuck casino review
Stake offers a sleek social gaming experience. Players can choose from over 200 industry-leading games with exclusive access to titles from Hacksaw and Pragmatic Play. Whether you want to spin the reels or play one of their table games, Stake has you covered.
Stake Casino bonus: 250,000 Gold Coins and $25 free ‘Stake Cash.’
Read our Stake Casino review
This new casino gives you $50 in free coins alongside a generous registration bonus of 20m ‘Gold Coins’. Using an exclusive sweepstakes model, you can earn ‘Fortune Coins’ that you can use on a wide array of games and slots, including progressive jackpots with massive prize pools. Offering secure deposit options and responsive customer service, there’s plenty for North Carolinians to love.
Fortune Coins bonus: 400,000 ‘Gold Coins’ and 300 ‘Fortune Coins’ on sign-up.
Read our Fortune Coins review
BetRivers.net is a fun and reputable social casino, highly respected in the industry on the strength of the BetRivers sportsbook brand. The site’s ‘Casino4Fun’ has over 450 games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and live casino offerings. And with daily promotions to earn more credits, there’s enough to satisfy any player.
BetRivers.net bonus: 1,000 virtual credit welcome bonus for new players.
Read our Betrivers.net review
As one of the hottest social casinos, you’ve likely heard of Gambino Slots. Recreating the thrill of the Vegas strip (with none of the risk), new players can enjoy 200 free spins and 100,000 ‘G Coins’ to spend on over 100 slots. Enjoy reel-spinning action with the mobile app for iOS and Android.
Gambino Slots bonus: 100,000 ‘G Coins’ and 200 free spins for new players.
Read our Gambino Slots review
As one of The Tar Heel State’s hottest new sweepstake casinos, LuckyBird.io offers exciting slots and arcade titles mixed with anonymous cryptocurrency payments. Play games and participate in promos, and you’ll keep your virtual wallet afloat with GCs and SCs, so your free social gaming entertainment is endless. North Carolina players who build up enough SCs can even exchange them for real-life prizes!
LuckyBird.io bonus: Unlimited faucet to win cryptocurrencies.
Read our LuckyBird.io review
Golden Hearts Games
Golden Hearts Games lets you play top casino games while supporting your favorite charity. Players can choose from over one million charities to donate to, with part of every purchase supporting the charity. Golden Hearts Games offers an array of slots plus bingo games that start every 10-15 minutes.
Golden Hearts Games bonus: Get a $10 bonus if you spend $10.
Read our Golden Hearts Games review
What game do you want to play most?
What the best North Carolina casinos offer you
If you’re searching for the best casino in North Carolina, knowing exactly what to look out for can help you make the most informed decision when gambling online. Our dedicated casino experts have shared our strict review process to show you just what to pay attention to:
Security and fairness: All our recommended sites offer sophisticated security systems. You can gamble with confidence at the North Carolina casinos on this page, knowing your personal and financial data is safely encrypted.
Bonuses: We expect top North Carolina casinos to reward both new and loyal players with generous perks and prizes. We look for sites that offer attractive welcome bonuses with reasonable T&Cs.
Game selection: You can find a massive range of slots at our top-rated online casinos. We also look for sites that boast a wide variety of other gambling products, like poker, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and more.
Mobile play: Our recommended casinos boast responsive sites for optimized gambling in mobile browsers. You can also play your favorite slots and casino games using a native casino app.
Banking methods: Sites that offer flexible banking options rank highly on our list. North Carolina casino players can expect to find popular and secure options like bank cards, prepaid cards, and e-wallets.
Customer Support: Speed, efficiency, and availability are things we assess with a casino’s customer support services. Our experts look for 24/7 support, extensive FAQ pages, and knowledgeable staff.
North Carolina gambling laws
North Carolina has three land-based casinos, the first of which opened in the late 1990s. After two decades of brick-and-mortar casino betting, the first retail sportsbooks were introduced to North Carolina’s prominent tribal casinos. Now, NC lawmakers are divided over whether the Tar Heel State is ready to go virtual.
Online gambling’s legal status in North Carolina
Online gambling is not yet legal in any form in North Carolina. SB 154 legalized sports betting in 2021 exclusively at sportsbooks in the state’s brick-and-mortar casinos. SB 688 was introduced in 2022 and sought to legalize online sports wagering in the state but failed before the end of the session.
With no movement on sports betting for at least another year, North Carolinians shouldn’t get their hopes up about online gambling arriving in the state anytime soon.
North Carolina gambling age
You must be at least 21 years old to gamble on casino games or wager at a sportsbook. The minimum age for participating in the state lottery or any charitable raffles is 18.
Are there taxes on gambling winnings?
Any money earned from an NC casino or sportsbook is subject to tax. All gambling winnings will be taxed at a flat rate of 24%. If the profit from a wager is more than 300x the bet or has been won in a sweepstake, lottery, or wagering pool, it will be subject to income tax withholding.
How is gambling in North Carolina regulated?
The casinos on tribal reservations are regulated independently of the state by the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission (TGC). The TGC was established in 1993 to implement the laws and protocols of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988) as part of the tribal-state gaming compacts that allow retail casinos.
The only online gambling permitted in the state is the lottery, which is regulated by the government’s Lottery Commission.
Free social and sweepstake casinos are legal to play at since they don’t allow real money gambling. Because they operate across the whole of the US they do not hold individual state licenses. Instead, they are independently audited by testing agencies like eCOGRA for fairness and security.
Online casinos and sports betting in the US
Find the latest online gambling legislation updates for your state below.
Which online casino games are available in North Carolina?
While you can’t bet on casino games online, North Carolinians can still join the online action by playing at social and sweepstakes casinos. You won’t win any real money prizes, but you can still enjoy all of the best casino games, like those listed below.
In NC, slots make up the majority of games you’ll find at online social casinos. In fact, some online casinos in North Carolina consist of slots alone. Though you can’t win real money on them, you can find several of the latest and greatest slot games from top providers like NetEnt and Pragmatic Play at NC social casinos.
An age-old casino classic, blackjack has the lowest house edge of any table game. With simple rules and wide betting limits, it is an excellent option for both casual and high-rolling players. As one of the most popular online casino games, you can find multiple variations of online blackjack.
Another popular table game at casinos, Roulette also comes in multiple variations. Its most common forms are American, French, and European. With the scope to wager on specific numbers or to hedge your bets 50/50, this game of chance is perfect for every type of player.
Online poker is not yet legal in North Carolina, but you can play for real money in land-based poker rooms at the state’s tribal casinos. In the meantime, you can put your poker face into practice at free online social casinos, where you can find games like Texas Hold’em and 3-Card Stud.
Much like regular poker games, the only place you can wager on video poker for real money is at a brick-and-mortar casino. However, some social casinos will offer video poker games in their free table game collection.
Live casino games
Live dealer games let you recreate the buzz of the casino floor when playing online. Whether you prefer roulette, blackjack, poker, or baccarat, you can play in real time and with a real dealer. Most real-money online casinos will offer a live casino library separate from their video games, and some social casinos are beginning to offer them too.
Retail sports betting is live and legal in the Tar Heel State. Caesars Sportsbooks are available at both Harrah’s Cherokee casino sites for professional and collegiate sports betting, alongside pari-mutuel horse wagering. Though online sports betting is currently a hot topic in NC, recent legislation did not pass into law before the end of the 2022 session.
State lotteries & bingo
Launched in 2005, North Carolina’s state lottery is the fourth youngest of the 45 available in the US. While you can buy lottery tickets online, you can’t play bingo online. Non-tribal bingo games are legal when organized by charitable organizations, and low-stakes ‘beach bingo’ games (with prizes under $10) are legal to play at licensed facilities. You can play high-stakes bingo at Cherokee Tribal Bingo.
Getting the best online casino bonuses
Like real-money casinos, social and sweepstake sites will often reward new players with bonuses and promotions. North Carolina casino sites have plenty of generous offers to enhance your free casino experience, and we’ve listed the most common types of bonus below.
Sign up bonuses
Free spins, gold coins, bonus stakes - these offers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they’re reserved exclusively for new players.
No deposit bonuses
No deposit bonuses give you casino credit or free spins without any deposit necessary. They are an excellent way for new players to test out the latest slots or learn the poker rules before spending real money.
Deposit match offers
Deposit match bonuses give you an additional reward on top of your first deposit. The casino will boost your real money bankroll with additional casino credit, whether it's a 50%, 100%, or 300% match. Remember that this offer will have wagering requirements and an expiry date attached.
The bread-and-butter of casino bonuses, free spins are slot stakes that don’t use real money. Most social casinos will give you a large amount of its currency to get started, but some will give you free spins instead. Although some sites limit free spins to a handful of games, others give you free rein to spend them on whichever slots you like.
Loyalty programs are a staple of online casinos. Most revolve around a tiered structure where casual players can earn free spins and cashback. However, VIP programs reward the highest rollers, offering non-casino perks like event invitations and personal account managers.
Local casinos in North Carolina
The only brick-and-mortar casinos allowed to operate in the state are those run on tribal reservations. You can see more detail on these venues below.
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort
Opened in 1997, this 150,000-square-foot tribal casino is run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and boasts over 3,000 slots and 160 table games, as well as a dedicated Asian gaming suite, WSOP Poker room, and retail Caesars Sportsbook (complete with a 90-foot screen). Visit the Multi-tournament Center for some fun, and wind down at the 1,800-room Smoky Mountain hotel. This is the ultimate luxury resort with a spa, two pools, golf courses, and 24/7 operating hours.
- Address: 777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719
- Phone Number: (828) 497-7777
Harrah's Cherokee Valley River
Another casino run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Valley River Casino is a 60,000-square-foot facility located in Murphy. Opened in 2015, the casino houses over 1,000 slot machines and a variety of live blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker tables. Wager on professional and collegiate sports at Caesars Sportsbook, or fit in a round of golf at one of three courses nestled among the Great Smoky Mountains.
- Address: 777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906
- Phone Number: (828) 422-7777
Catawba Two Kings Casino
A third casino is currently under construction in Kings Mountain. The $273 million resort is set to hold up to 1,800 slots and a retail sportsbook. In the meantime, the Catawba Nation has opened a temporary, round-the-clock casino facility on a 17-acre plot of land 30 minutes west of Charlotte. The casino holds 1,000 slot machines and will remain open until the Two Kings Casino is complete.
- Address: 538 Kings Mountain Blvd, Kings Mountain, NC 28086
- Phone Number: (704) 750-7777
Making deposits and withdrawals for online gambling
Social casinos are free to play at, but bettors who want to pad out their virtual bankroll can do so by making a real money deposit. Most social casinos in North Carolina offer many popular payment methods. These include:
- Debit cards
- Credit cards
- Bank transfers
- Prepaid cards
Gambling responsibly in North Carolina
For most gamblers, wagering at a casino or sportsbook is an exciting pastime. However, some bettors may develop harmful gambling habits that result in addiction. Every reputable online casino will offer tools and resources that players can implement to maintain responsible betting habits. Below, we’ve listed some additional resources available to bettors in North Carolina.
A service that educates, supports, and advocates for people suffering from gambling addiction, as well as supporting family and friends of someone suffering.
North Carolina Problem Gambling Helpline
A 24-hour freephone service that is available to those suffering from problem gambling.
Runs the NC Problem Gambling Program to provide prevention, education, outreach, and treatment services across NC.
A fellowship of people who share their experiences to help others that are battling their addictions.
Tel: (909) 931-9056
Who regulates gambling in North Carolina?
The Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission (TGC) regulates all gambling that occurs at the state’s tribal casinos. The government’s Lottery Commission regulates the NC Education Lottery, and all non-tribal bingo games are regulated by the Alcohol Law Enforcement’s Bingo Administrator.
What types of legal gambling are available in North Carolina?
Casino gambling, sports betting, and pari-mutuel horse wagering are legal as long as they take place at a land-based casino. Raffles and bingo are legal if run by a non-profit organization, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians runs a high-stakes bingo hall on its reservation. The state lottery is the only form of gambling available online.
Do sweepstakes casinos operate in NC?
Yes, but only online. Land-based sweepstakes casinos are illegal in North Carolina as of February 2022. Bettors can play at internationally regulated online sweepstakes sites that don’t offer withdrawable prizes. These social sites function purely for entertainment and are therefore legal to play.
What is the legal gambling age in North Carolina?
Players must be 21 or over to gamble at a land-based casino or sportsbook. Anyone 18 or above can legally wager on the state lottery and participate in raffles or bingo games. Most states allow pari-mutuel horse wagering from 18, but since all horse betting occurs within the state’s tribal casinos, the minimum age in North Carolina is 21.
Where can you gamble in North Carolina?
Bettors in North Carolina can gamble at three land-based tribal casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy, Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, and Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain. High-stakes bingo is available at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian’s bingo hall or at low-stakes ‘beach bingo’ halls across the state. You can play for free at online social or sweepstakes casinos like Pulsz and Gambino Slots.
Edited by Steve Bittenbender
Steve Bittenbender covers Midwest news for Casino.org, specializing in sports betting and horse racing. He joined the Casino.org news team in 2019, and previously covered sports, business and politics at the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal. He continues to contribute to Reuters. Steve lives in Louisville, Kentucky with his wife and son. He is an avid poker player, having learned from his uncle as a kid.