North Carolina Governor Approves Bill to Legalize Sports Betting

Published August 7, 2019 by Elana K

North Carolina Governor Approves Bill to Legalize Sports Betting

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed S 154 into law, which will allow the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to operate sportsbooks at its two casinos.

North Carolina has joined the ranks of the 7 other states that have passed sports betting bills this year. Since the repeal of PASPA in May 2018, a total of 15 states have legalized sports betting, though 6 haven’t implemented a framework yet. North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed S 154 into law, which will allow the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to operate sportsbooks at its two casinos.

The Cherokee Tribe and Sports Betting

The Cherokee tribe has a monopoly on gambling in North Carolina, and now on sports betting. The two tribal casinos, Harrah’s Cherokee and Valley River, are operated by Caesars Entertainment and located in the Appalachian Mountains.

No Mobile, No Licensing, No Betting Restrictions

The law includes location restriction, which means that people have to be at the actual casino to place a bet. There is no allowance for mobile sports betting at this time. Unfortunately, this is a classic rookie move - casinos fear that allowing mobile sports betting will detract from land-based wagers, but as New Jersey has proven, that is certainly not the case. For now, however, mobile is off the table in North Carolina.

The good news is that unlike other states, in North Carolina there will be no licensing requirement, which means that getting the framework up and running should go relatively smoothly. There is also no integrity fee and no prohibition against betting on specific teams or events (including in-state collegiate teams, which many other states do prohibit). A full range of betting options will be offered, including pro and college football, basketball, baseball, off-track wagering on races, and more.

Launch Date?

After Governor Cooper signed the bill into law, the casinos announced that they would like to have sports betting up and running by Fall 2019. There’s not much time, but at least there’s no licensing involved to slow the process down. 

See also

Tennessee Approves Controversial Sports Betting Rules

New Gambling Bills to Regulate Sports Betting and DFS in Pennsylvania

Tennessee Sports Betting to Launch by November 1

West Virginia Launches Sports Betting, Reaches Six Figures in Two Days

Connecticut Seeks to Move Forward With Sports Betting and Online Gambling


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