The best sports betting sites in North Carolina 2023
North Carolina is home to millions of enthusiastic sports fans who can legally bet using retail sportsbooks at the state’s tribal casinos. Online sports betting hasn't been made legal yet, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy sports with safe, legal options. Read our complete guide to North Carolina betting to discover your online options, the best sports for wagering, and trustworthy sportsbooks.
Our top recommended North Carolina sportsbooks
Top online sportsbooks in North Carolina
Online sports betting isn’t legal in North Carolina, and the soonest legislation to legalize it can pass is 2023. In the meantime, sports fans can have fun playing Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games legally. Check out our recommended DFS sites offering cash prizes.
BetRivers.NET offers over 25 sports to bet on. You can wager using their virtual currency on both pre-game and in-play markets for all of the biggest Major League games. Plus, BetRivers.NET lets you claim new free credits every four hours – what’s not to like?
This DFs provider is available on the App Store and won the ‘Best Fantasy Sports App’ award in 2018. There are DFS games for all major leagues, alongside a game where you answer multiple questions on a major sporting event. If you get all your questions right, then you get a chance to win a large cash prize.
Offering a season-long fantasy sports game, ESPN Fantasy lets you act as a franchise owner and choose players within a budget. The better those athletes perform, the more points you get. Prizes are available at the end of the season for the very best teams, and you can play in leagues with friends or compete in platform-wide competitions.
You’ll find DFS games across the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL at Yahoo Fantasy which you can play with its user-friendly app. There are also expert guides and tips to get the edge over other DFS players.
Which sport are you most interested in?
Popular sports to bet on in North Carolina
There are three major league sports teams in North Carolina, as well as 19 Division I college sports programs. With over 10 million people in the state, there is plenty of support for every sport. Check out some of the most popular North Carolina sports for betting.
North Carolina is home to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets, which play to crowds of 19,000 at the Spectrum Centre in Charlotte. Founded in 1988, the team temporarily left Charlotte in 2002 when it relocated to New Orleans before reappearing as an expansion franchise under the ‘Bobcat’ name in 2004. Under the ownership of Michael Jordan, the team renamed and acquired the history of the former Hornets team in 2014.
Michael Jordan, considered the greatest basketball player of all time, was born in North Carolina and played college basketball with the North Carolina Tar Heels for three years. Jordan won six NBA Championships, being awarded finals MVP each time and five NBA regular season MVPs. He also led the Tar Heels to an NCAA Tournament Championship in 1982.
North Carolina is represented in the NFL by the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers play to 75,000 fans at the Bank of America Stadium in black, blue, and silver team colors. Despite appearing in the Super Bowl twice, having won the NFC in 2003 and 2015, the team has never lifted the Lombardi trophy. The Panthers are not without success, historically being the second most successful team in the NFC South since its inception in 2002 with five titles.
The Panthers are partnered with Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, where you can go and place bets on the NFL at Caesars Sportsbook.
North Carolina is a famous location for golf, hosting the iconic Pinehurst Resort course and acting as an annual stop for the PGA Tour. PGA Tour competitions include the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club and the Wyndham Championship alternating between Greensboro clubs. You can visit Caesars and wager on all major golf competitions with outrights available well in advance. Caesars is partnered with PGA Michigan, and you’ll find particularly generous odds for these tournaments.
Pinehurst Resort has hosted three US Open Championships (the last of which was in 2014), one PGA Championship, one US Women’s Championship, and the 1951 Ryder Cup.
Ice Hockey (NHL)
The NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes became the first major league sports team in North Carolina to win a national championship. The Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006 in the team’s second final. The franchise suffered a rough patch in the 2010s with a lack of investment and attendances, causing performances to drop. There were rumors that the franchise was considering relocation, but these were ended by Tom Dundon’s purchase of the team in 2018.
The team won back-to-back divisions in 2021 and 2022 under 2021 NHL Jack Adams Award-winning coach Rod Brind’Amour. The franchise has previously voiced its support for sports betting, with plans to launch a sportsbook in its PNC Arena.
North Carolina is well renowned as the capital of NASCAR, with more than 80% of NASCAR racing teams based in the state. While it now only has one track on the NASCAR circuit, the Charlotte Motor Speedway is commonly referred to as “America’s Home for Racing.” With most NASCAR teams located nearby, the track hosts three NASCAR Cup Series events to crowds as large as 167,000. You can bet on local NASCAR events or races further afield at the two Caesars sportsbooks.
The state is also home to many of the sport’s most famous drivers and families like the Allisons, Earnhardts, Jarretts, Pettys, Waltrips, and notable individuals such as Junior Johnson and Dale Jarrett.
Charlotte FC, owned by Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, is an expansion franchise in the Major League Soccer, the country’s top flight of the game. The newly-formed club played its first game on February 26, 2022. The team plays at a reconfigured Bank of America Stadium, the home of the Carolina Panthers, receiving the highest ever MLS attendance when 74,479 spectators attended the first home game against LA Galaxy.
The team has the second highest attendance for the 2022 season with an average of 39,00 fans. Caesars Sportsbooks at local land-based casinos offers moneylines, totals, and players props on most MLS games.
There is plenty of Division I FBS representation in North Carolina, with seven teams playing at this level. That includes the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, the smallest school to ever play in the Bowl Championship Series. Only two other Division I FBS schools have a smaller enrollment than this ACC Conference Championship-winning program.
The other six Division I teams are the Appalachian State Mountaineers, Charlotte 49ers, Duke Blue Devils, East Carolina Pirates, NC State Wolfpack, and North Carolina Tar Heels. College sports betting is legal in the Tarheel State, and you can wager on in-state teams like the Demon Deacons.
Basketball is one of the most popular sports in North Carolina, and three of the 15 teams with the most NCAA Tournament wins hail from NC. No other state has more. The Duke Blue Devils and the North Carolina Tar Heels share one of the bitterest rivalries in sports (voted the #2 sporting rivalry ever by Sports Illustrated in 2003). The Tar Heels have won the third most NCAA Tournament Championships of all times with six. The Devils are five-time NCAA winners, and six-time runners-up, with 71 former players selected in the NBA Draft. 36 of these players have been named All-Americans, and 11 have been named National Player of the Year.
Aside from this rivalry, the North Carolina State Wolfpack has also won two NCAA Tournaments. There are 18 Division I basketball programs in the state you can wager on by visiting a retail sportsbook. Caesars offers all its customers' special bonuses and odds boosts during March Madness.
While North Carolina does not host any F1 races, it is the base of operations for America’s only F1 team Haas. You can bet on most Grand Prix by visiting a Caesars Sportsbook at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. Haas performed poorly in the 2021 season and lost its main sponsor and one of its drivers, Nikita Mazepin, before the 2022 season started. However, Haas bounced back in 2022 with its first double-point finish at the 2022 British GP.
North Carolina sports betting facts
While still limited to retail betting, North Carolina is a growing sports betting market. Here are some interesting statistics for more insight into the state.
The number of retail sportsbooks in the state.
The legal sports betting age in North Carolina.
Representative Jason Saine’s estimated sportsbook revenue if online sports betting is legalized in the state.
The postcode of Catawba Two Kings Casino North Carolina, which plans to open the state’s third sportsbook in 2022.
Bet types and markets
There are dozens of different ways to bet on every event, providing you with loads of new betting opportunities daily. We’ve listed some of the most common wagers you can place when visiting a retail sportsbook.
- Point spreads
The simplest kind of bet, a moneyline is a bet on which team will win a game. If your bet is correct, your stake is returned with a profit. If you’re wrong, you lose your stake.
North Carolina's most popular markets
The NFL is the most popular sport in the US, with an average viewership of 45 million for playoff games. You can find moneylines, totals, point spreads, and more on all NFL games, including Carolina Panthers’ matchups.
You can find bets on the Charlotte Hornets and other NBA teams at both Caesars retail sportsbooks in NC. You can wager on which team will win the NBA Championships, a player to win the regular season MVP or other exciting futures.
Which team will win the Stanley Cup is always hotly contested, and you can back the Hurricanes or other teams by visiting a sportsbook. Caesars often runs promotions like odds boosts for the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.
Legal sports betting in North Carolina
On July 26, 2019, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed SB 154 to give the Cherokee Tribe oversight of the new retail sports betting industry. It took until December 2020 for the state and the Tribe to agree on gaming compacts to reflect the new sports betting industry. However, once the Tribe and NC lawmakers confirmed the compacts, it was a quick turnaround, with the first retail sportsbooks launching on March 18, 2021, at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River.
What can you legally bet on in NC?
You can wager on most professional sports in North Carolina, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. North Carolina sportsbooks also provide markets for niche sports like MMA and golf. You can bet on college sports, but only for football, ice hockey, baseball, and basketball.
What is the legal gambling age in North Carolina?
You must be 21 or older to bet in North Carolina. You must prove your age when you visit a retail sportsbook by bringing a valid photo ID.
Are sports betting winnings taxable?
Yes, sports betting winnings are taxable in every US state. You must declare all your winnings to the IRS and fill out a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Sportsbooks may hold up to 25% of your winnings for tax purposes. In addition, you need to include your betting winnings in your NC income tax. The state has a flat income tax rate of 5.25%.
Sports betting and online casinos in the US
Find the latest online gambling legislation updates for your state below.
How we rate the best sports betting sites
Our expert team reviews every sportsbook we recommend by carefully testing every aspect of a betting site. We value some areas like security above others based on what is essential to players. That way, thanks to our 25 step review process, we can recommend the betting sites that are best for you. Our handy visual guide below shows you what we look out for and how we rate casinos and sportsbooks.
Responsible gaming in North Carolina
Sports betting is a form of entertainment and should never be used to make money. Problem gambling is a serious issue; anyone struggling should seek help immediately. The North Carolina National Council on Problem Gambling and other organizations provide resources. To help you with responsible gambling, here are a few helpful tips to follow:
- Never gamble money that you can’t afford to lose.
- Do not take out loans or borrow money to fund your gambling.
- Don’t gamble when drinking alcohol or are not in total control of your actions.
- Do not let gambling affect your personal or professional life.
Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?
Yes, retail sports betting is legal in North Carolina. There are two sportsbooks at tribal casinos, with plans for a third to open in 2022. Online sports betting is illegal.
What's the minimum age to bet on sports in NC?
You must be 21 or older to wager in North Carolina and need to bring a valid photo ID to sportsbooks to prove your age.
Are there legal sportsbooks in North Carolina?
There are two legal sportsbooks at tribal casinos in North Carolina. Both of these are in the west of the state. A third sportsbook will soon open much closer to Charlotte and other major cities.
Can you bet on horse racing in North Carolina?
No, you can’t bet on horse racing in North Carolina. Online horse racing betting is unavailable, and no pari-mutuel wagering locations have launched.
Who regulates legal sports betting in North Caolina?
The Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission regulates retail sports betting in NC, following rules set out in the gaming compacts and SB 154.