Sports betting has been legal for over a year in North Carolina, however, players are still lacking legal opportunities to place bets in the state
Even though sports betting is technically legal within the state of North Carolina, and has been for over a year now, there is no legal opportunity for punters to place bets in the state.
During 2019, Governor Roy Cooper (pictured below) signed SB154 into law which ultimately permits the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to operate sportsbook within their two casinos, which is not the first time that Cooper has had to sign off on sports betting. Such a law justified that the tribal compact which included NC sports betting details be amended.
However, due to COVID-19 which caused significant delays to the bill passing, the Cherokee’s Tribal Council finally sanctioned such amendments. Despite the step forward, it looks like sports betting within the state has a better chance of its first major event taking place during the March Madness than during the Super Bowl.
With this, it can be said that North Carolina may have to wait a little longer until sports betting can finally start in the state. However, there is no indication whatsoever from the office of Cooper when such an amendment will be signed off.
Brian Saunooke, regional VP of marketing for Harrah Cherokee stated that should Cooper's signature be attained, it is only the beginning of another waiting game. However, the Department of the Interior has a limited window of just 45 days to approve amendments to the compact agreement and will only become official once published through the Federal Register.
Saunooke continued to add that construction of sports books at the casinos has not yet reached its completion date but identified that the Cherokee casinos will operate under a specific licencing agreement for the Harrah’s brand with Caesars. The brand has most recently agreed to purchase William Hill and has been tasked with operating sports betting at all the Caesars outlets.
On the other hand, punters in North Carolina will not be in a position to place a sports bet that easily, as the two Harrah’s Cherokee locations are a seemingly out of the way from major cities.
This may entice some individuals to take advantage of mobile sports betting in Tennessee instead of driving to casinos in other states.