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North Carolina Tar Heels fans cheer during the game against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kenan Memorial Stadium, as we lay out everything to know about North Carolina launching sports betting.
North Carolina Tar Heels fans cheer during the game against the Appalachian State Mountaineers at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images via AFP.

Can you bet on sports online in North Carolina? For the next nine days, the answer is still no for most residents, but bettors in the Tar Heel state were able to sign up with one of the licensed North Carolina sports betting apps as of 12 p.m. ET on Friday and take advantage of the myriad North Carolina sportsbook promos available.

That comes ahead of the official launch of North Carolina sports betting on March 11, when wagers can be placed for the first time at our best sports betting sites across one of the nation's most populous and sports-crazed states. 

Timeline of NC sports betting

Retail sports betting has been legal in North Carolina since March 18, 2021, but it’s taken nearly three years to move to online sports betting. Gov. Roy Cooper signed HB 347 into law on March 11, 2023, officially legalizing online sports betting in North Carolina.

The legislation allows up to 12 online sports betting licenses and up to eight retail licenses, with many of our best sportsbooks securing licenses to operate in the Tar Heel State later this month.

That was only Step 1. The time between legalization and implementation is rarely overnight, but the long wait is finally over, and there’s light at the end of the tunnel for hopeful sports bettors in North Carolina. Here's a look at how we got here with legalized sports betting coming to the Tar Heel State:

North Carolina sports betting timeline, key dates

  • July 29, 2019: In-person sports betting is legalized in North Carolina.
  • March 18, 2021: The first in-person wagers are placed at the state’s tribal casinos.
  • March 11, 2023: HB 347 passes the NC House of Representatives, marking the first step to legalization of online sports betting.
  • June 14, 2023: Governor Roy Cooper signs HB 347 into law, legalizing online sports betting in North Carolina. “This legislation will help North Carolina compete, make sure taxpayers receive a share, create many good-paying jobs and foster strong economic opportunity," Cooper said at the time. "As we move forward, we should work to make sure more of the revenue is used to invest in our public schools, teachers and students.”
  • September 28, 2023: Regulators determine that all sportsbooks must be partnered with a golf course, motorsports racetrack, or professional sports team.
  • November 17, 2023: bet365 partners with the Charlotte Hornets.
  • November 29, 2023: The deadline for sportsbooks to register for a license is set for December 27, 2023, with a 60-day review period from regulators.
  • December 5, 2023: ESPN BET partners with Quail Hollow Club.
  • December 7, 2023: FanDuel Sportsbook partners with the PGA Tour of NC.
  • December 15, 2023: Fanatics Sportsbook partners with the Carolina Hurricanes.
  • January 5, 2024: DraftKings Sportsbook partners with NASCAR, BetMGM partners with Charlotte Motor Speedway.
  • January 23, 2024: Underdog partners with Sedgefield Country Club.
  • February 29, 2024: Licenses are awarded to bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN BET, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Underdog.
  • March 1, 2024: Bettors can register for an account and make their first deposits at any of the abovementioned sportsbooks at 12:00 p.m. ET

How to bet in North Carolina

When can I place my first bet?

Bettors who are at least 21 years old can set up their accounts as of Friday, March 1, and they will be able to place their first wagers on March 11. Seven licenses were granted Thursday, and North Carolina State Lottery Commission Chair Ripley Rand said in a news release that the issuance “represents a major milestone in establishing legal sports betting in North Carolina.” 

Bettors can wager on professional sports, college sports, and Olympic events, which means there are myriad options to choose from. Heavy hitters such as FanDuel and DraftKings are among the licensed sportsbooks, but Underdog - a sports betting company renowned for its fantasy sports and best ball competitions - will also be in the mix.

Which online sportsbooks are licensed in North Carolina?

The following sportsbooks were granted a license for online sports betting in North Carolina:

Where can I bet on sports in-person in North Carolina?

Sports betting is legal online through the state’s eight licensed sportsbooks and at three retail locations. Commercial casinos are prohibited in North Carolina, but sports betting is legal at any of the state’s three tribal casinos:

  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort (Cherokee, NC)
  • Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River (Murphy, NC)
  • Catawba Two Kings Casino (Kings Mountain, NC)

What sports can I wager on in North Carolina?

HB 347 outlines 45 sports that bettors can wager on in North Carolina. Most of the licensed books won’t have the full array available to bettors, but the following sports will surely be available at one or more:

  • Baseball
  • Football
  • Soccer
  • Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Golf
  • Boxing
  • MMA
  • Tennis
  • Aussie Rules Football

This is far from the complete list, and sports bettors will have the opportunity to wager on additional sports depending on what’s offered at their book of choice. That includes tentpole events, such as the latest March Madness odds and ACC basketball conference odds.

Which teams can I bet on in North Carolina?

North Carolina is home to some of the most storied college basketball programs in the country, but the state also boasts professional football, basketball, hockey, and soccer teams.

  • Carolina Panthers - The Panthers finished last season with the worst record in the NFL, but the Chicago Bears own their 2024 No. 1 pick by way of last season’s Bryce Young trade. Carolina has missed the playoffs in six straight seasons.
  • Carolina Hurricanes - The Hurricanes are perennially competitive and have made the playoffs in five straight seasons. That includes two trips to the Conference Finals.
  • North Carolina FC - The team sports a 23-29 record through two seasons and has not made the playoffs in either of them.
  • Charlotte Hornets - The Hornets have missed the playoffs in seven straight seasons, and they’ll likely extend that streak to eight following the 2023-24 campaign. Charlotte owns one of the worst records in the NBA this season.
  • Duke Blue Devils - Duke has transitioned well out of the Mike Krzyzewski era, and the future looks bright for this blue blood of college hoops. Over the last 20 seasons, Duke boasts seven trips to the Elite Eight, four Final Four appearances, and two national championships.
  • North Carolina Tar Heels - Another of college basketball’s most storied franchises, the Tar Heels have nine Elite Eight appearances, six Final Fours, and three national championships over the last 20 seasons.
  • Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Wake Forest has made the NCAA Tournament five times over the last 20 seasons of March Madness, reaching the Sweet Sixteen once.

North Carolina betting promos

Promotions for North Carolina’s licensed online sportsbooks are similar to those offered in any of the other 29 U.S. states that currently offer online sports betting. Fortunately, Sportsbook Review has you covered with our best North Carolina sportsbook promos ahead of the state's March 11 launch.

How to register for a sports betting account in North Carolina

Registering for an account at one of North Carolina’s licensed online sportsbooks is easy. Sports bettors should follow these steps:

  1. Download the sportsbook(s) of choice.
  2. Create a unique username and strong password.
  3. Provide relevant data such as first and last name, date of birth and social security number.
  4. Enable location tracking for the app to validate that you are located in North Carolina.
  5. Provide relevant documentation or screenshots required (photo of your driver’s license, for example).
  6. Claim a welcome offer or promotion.
  7. Make your first deposit.
  8. Begin wagering on your favorite teams and events beginning on March 11.

Where does North Carolina sports betting go from here?

Eight of the state's best sports betting apps are available to North Carolina sports bettors at launch, but the legislation allows up to 13, which means five additional sportsbooks will likely be available to bettors in the near future. Some notable exclusions from the current list of available books include Betfred, BetRivers, and Hard Rock Bet. 

Three retail locations are currently available, but the legislation allows up to eight more at professional sports venues. The potential retail locations are: 

  • Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)
  • Charlotte Motor Speedway (Charlotte, NC)
  • North Wilkesboro Speedway (Greensboro, NC)
  • PNC Arena Raleigh (Raleigh, NC)
  • Quail Hollow Country Club (Charlotte, NC)
  • Sedgefield Country Club (Greensboro, NC)
  • Spectrum Center (Charlotte, NC)
  • WakeMed Soccer Park (Cary, NC)

This is just the beginning for North Carolina sports betting, and we can expect substantial growth in the coming months and years as new sportsbooks and retail locations open up shop in a rapidly growing market.

Notable upcoming sporting events

Sports bettors can officially start making wagers online in North Carolina on March 11, just one day before the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Tournament tips off. Pretty convenient, right?

That isn't the only notable college basketball event on the horizon in the month of March, as bettors will get the chance to wager on a slew of games for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.

In addition to college basketball’s most exciting stretch of the year, North Carolina sports bettors have plenty of other notable events on the horizon. This is one of the busiest times of the year for multiple sports, so what better time to legalize online sports betting?

  • ACC Tournament - The tournament will be held from March 12-16 in Washington D.C. and will feature four North Carolina teams: Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, and NC State. Both UNC and Duke are ranked in the top 10 in the latest AP Poll, while the other two have a chance to make noise in the conference tournament.
  • NCAA Tournament - March Madness officially kicks off on March 17 with Selection Sunday. The First Four takes place on March 19-20, and the first round begins March 21. The Spectrum Center in Charlotte is one of the sites for first-round matchups in the tournament.
  • PGA Tour - The PGA Tour has two notable tournaments in March: The Players Championship and the Valspar Championship. Golf’s most cherished event, The Masters, will run from April 11-14, offering North Carolina golf fans the chance to get in on the action at their favorite online sportsbook.
  • MLB Opening Day - The start of the baseball season for most teams comes March 28, just over two weeks after online sportsbooks can begin taking wagers in North Carolina. The first game of the MLB season, however, will be played between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres on March 20 in Seoul, South Korea, as part of the MLB World Tour.
  • NFL Draft - The 89th NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit, MI. Sports bettors in North Carolina will have the opportunity to wager on the latest NFL draft odds with bets involving the No. 1 pick and key players in the draft.
  • NBA playoffs - Bettors can wager on the upcoming NBA Play-In Tournament odds, which will take place from April 16-19, and the playoffs will tip off on April 20. Though the Charlotte Hornets likely won’t be in the mix, bettors in North Carolina can wager on any of the other teams participating.
  • NHL playoffs - The NHL regular season concludes on April 18, with playoffs to follow shortly thereafter. With a current record of 36-18-6 (as of March 1), the Carolina Hurricanes are slated for a playoff run and remain among the contenders by the latest Stanley Cup odds.

North Carolina sports betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in North Carolina?

Yes, sports betting was legalized for tribal casinos in 2019 and implemented in 2021. Online sports betting was legalized in 2023, and bettors were able to sign up for the first time online on March 1, 2024. Online sports betting will officially launch on March 11.

Which North Carolina sportsbooks have legal apps?

The available sports betting apps in North Carolina are bet365, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, FanDuel, and Underdog.

Is it legal to bet on college sports in North Carolina?

Betting on college sports is legal both online and in-person in North Carolina, which is great news for fans of Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forestm and NC State. North Carolina allows bettors to wager on in-state schools, which is something that is not allowed in many of the other states with legalized sports betting.