Is Sports Betting Legal in North Carolina?

The limitations placed on gambling in the state of North Carolina make it a very interesting one in the world of legalized sports betting. The state has an education lottery, same as its neighbor to the south that shares half of a name, and one casino on Cherokee land. Because North Carolina runs an education lottery, the expansion of gambling in the form of sports betting would have to be done by outside operators, which the building of additional gaming facilities.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, West Virginia, Alabama, and Mississippi do not have horse tracks. West Virginia does have two greyhound tracks and Alabama has one. North Carolina is one of a small number of states that doesn’t have expanded gambling in any of its forms, which makes sports betting a tough sell. Would there be an initial boon for sports betting? Probably, but will residents of a state with limited gambling opportunities sustain their interest?

That will be one of many questions that will be asked and answered when the state resumes its government proceedings after the elections in November. This is a state that hasn’t exactly limited the growth of casinos in terms of stopping them, but really hasn’t opened up a line of discourse. The fact that North Carolina doesn’t have any race tracks is a real hindrance. Then again, construction of new facilities or implementation of some sort of mobile betting apparatus would create some jobs.

Like a lot of states without widespread gaming centers, some of the legalized sports betting debate will hinge on what adjacent states are doing. Tennessee, Virginia, and South Carolina are pushing forward at their own paces, with Georgia moving a little bit quicker. The state legislative session ends in late June and sports betting has not even been brought to the floor.


Recent News Stories About Sports Betting

A fantastic, and extremely in-depth, article from Richard Barron appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal to give a full overview and some quotes on the prospects of legalized sports betting in North Carolina.

WITN, the NBC affiliate in Greenville, had an interesting report that highlighted East Carolina University and got some quotes from the local representative, Don Davis.

Citing a scandal that happened almost 60 years ago, Tom Campbell penned some kind of editorial about sports betting for the Charlotte Observer.

Another piece from the Charlotte Observer talked about the Carolina Panthers and integrity fees shortly after PASPA was struck down.



South Carolina is moving forward, which could influence North Carolina a little bit, but the start seems almost nonplussed about the sports betting debate. While other states have used their remaining days in session to talk about betting, North Carolina pretty much hasn’t bothered. That means that the state will be at least a year behind others and probably even more. If odds were to be set on North Carolina in the next five years, no would be at least a -150 favorite (60%), if not higher. The state just hasn’t shown the least bit of urgency and lacks the infrastructure that other states have in terms of using the lottery or existing structures.


Neighboring States


South Carolina