Online Casino and Gambling in North Carolina

When dealing with the USA on gambling legislation issues, we cannot paint every state with the same brush. The laws and legislation vary quite considerably from state to state. While land-based gambling may be more readily accepted in some of its forms in certain states, online gambling is generally met with disapproval, except in a handful of regions, like Delaware, New Jersey, Las Vegas, and others, where they have managed to pass a bill allowing regulated online gambling in their state.

North Carolina is one of the least tolerant states when it comes to gambling of any form. What little casino gaming takes place, is found at two tribal casinos/bingo parlours within Indian Reservations. 

The only forms of gambling found in the rest of the state includes charity gaming, lottery and very low stakes bingo.


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While there are no explicit laws making online gambling illegal in the North Carolina legislation, we cannot assume this to mean that it is a grey area, like many casino operators would have you believe. north carolina state emblem

Where state law is not clear on this issue, the Federal Law lauds it loud and clear. Online Gambling is illegal in North Carolina in accordance with the ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ and any transfer of funds between citizens/visitors and online betting operators of any form are outlawed.



Land-based casinos are non-existent in the greater parts of the state of North Carolina. There is currently only a high stakes bingo parlour in Cherokee Indian land and a big casino in Eastern Cherokee 
land, which has been operative since 1997.



While online poker is illegal in all its forms in this state, live poker can be played at the casino on tribal lands.

There is no provision for social gambling in the laws, however, cases like this have been tried in court before, as the state see this as gambling.

We would, therefore, advise that you refrain from ‘poker nights with the boys’ unless you are playing for fake money.



This is where we see the hard stance of North Carolina the most when it comes to gambling. Where most other states will allow pari-mutuel betting on horses and dogs, this practice is NOT allowed in North Carolina, at all. Residents will have to visit neighbouring states to enjoy this pastime.



Unfortunately, Fantasy Sports are considered gambling in North Carolina, and as such cannot be regulated and are illegal to residents of the state.

A push to regulate the game was lobbied in early 2018, however, the bill was swiftly rejected, despite the defence posed, that called for Fantasy Sports to be seen more as a game of skill, than a game of chance.



The lottery is legal in Carolina, so long as it is regulated. The ‘Education Lottery’ is the sole lottery in the state. This was instituted in 2006 as one of the last lotteries formed in the United States. All of the profits are said to go to charity and social development.


                      MINIMUM LEGAL AGE TO GAMBLE IN NORTH CAROLINA age limit icon

While playing bingo or raffles does not hold an age restriction in North Carolina, should you want to play the state lottery, you will need to be at least 18 years old or more. Casino gambling at the tribal casino requires you to be no younger than 21 years of age.



While the state of North Carolina and its investigating bodies regulate and control gambling within the State, an independent regulator, called the Cherokee Tribal Gaming Commission (TGC) are the lawful regulators of the tribal casinos in the region. They were established in 1993 with the view of protecting the tribe’s assets and ensuring integrity and fair gaming to all.



In the state, an easy to use resource for problem gambling would be the North Carolina Problem Gambling Program. Visit their site at, to take their quiz and identify if you have a problem in this area or not. You can also call their support iconhelpline for counselling on 1-877-718-5543.

Nationally, there is a centre for help in gambling addictions, called SAMSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration). They are available on 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Here, one can receive 24 hour a day service for treatment referrals for those struggling with addictions.

Another great National helpline for problem gambling is the NCPG (National Council on Problem Gambling). They have offices in North Carolina and are dedicated to offering self help resources and provide referrals and offer counselling to all those in need. You can contact them on:

  • Phone or Text: 1-800-522-4700
  • Chat Line:


While many states in the US are progressing along the tolerance line for gambling, North Carolina shows no hope of change, with a proven track record of progressive intolerance for games of chance, etc. 

This history of cracking down on betting games extends back to their original constitution in the 1700s, where a very conservative view has been upheld by the religious communities, who have a big influence in the state. The foundation of intolerance to betting is quite solidly set and it does not seem like it is bound to change anytime soon.