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North Carolina Gambling Laws and Online Options

North Carolina

North Carolina is a relatively conservative state nestled in the south-eastern United States. True to its southern conservative roots, the state takes a rather restrictive approach to gambling. There are only two North Carolina casinos, and they are both operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

When it comes to online gambling in North Carolina, options are limited by state law. North Carolina has made no meaningful progress toward legalizing online casinos, but other states have embraced online gaming in many forms. And although it’s illegal to operate online casinos in North Carolina, authorities are focused on cracking down on illicit operators rather than individual players. In the absence of any state-regulated North Carolina online casinos, players can instead safely enjoy one of our recommended sites. Foreign operators with headquarters in other countries are happy to accept players from the state, giving residents plenty of opportunity to enjoy online casinos in North Carolina.

Read on for a full overview of the state’s gambling laws, how to choose a gaming site, and of course, a list of the best online casinos in North Carolina.

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How To Choose a North Carolina Online Casino

When you play at a North Carolina online casino site, the experience should be both secure and fun. That’s why our teams thoroughly research each and every casino we recommend using a number of criteria. At the end of the day, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience when you play at a North Carolina casino online. We look at a few key factors when choosing casinos to recommend.

Safety and Security

Does the online casino use high-level encryption to protect your data? Does it offer multi-factor authentication? These questions, and a number of others, are only some of the criteria the online casinos have to meet. Our teams then do the work to ensure that each recommended online casino in North Carolina meets a high standard of safety and security.

Device Compatibility

Our top sites are optimized for mobile and desktop use, so you can play on any device of your choice. Android, iOS, and desktop players will have no problem enjoying our North Carolina online casino recommendations as we make sure that they are available on most, if not all, leading and popular devices on the market.

Bonuses and Promotions

When you sign up for an online casino, many will offer lucrative bonuses that kickstart your gaming experience. These bonuses can come in form of no deposit bonuses, match bonuses and even free spins on your favorite games. We scour hundreds of sites to find the ones that give the best and most profitable bonus offers to new players.

Game Library

Like security and safety, game variety is a top tier determining factor when we choose whether or not to recommend an online casino in North Carolina. Online casinos with hundreds of slots games and various table games are more likely to make the list. They offer a full-fledged casino experience that includes many of the world’s most popular games.

Easy Payments and Withdrawals

Streamlined payment and cash out solutions are a must for all online casinos, North Carolina sites included. You should have your choice of a number of deposit methods, so we select online casinos that provide a variety of options, from the most popular methods to others which are less known, but equally safe and handy.

Popular North Carolina Online Casino Games

Online casinos in North Carolina deliver when it comes to games. Whether you prefer slots, table games, or poker, North Carolina sites have something for you.

Slots, Slots, Slots

Replicating the feel of a casino floor packed with vibrant slot machines, North Carolina online casinos have hundreds of titles from the world’s biggest slot game developers. Slots have something for everyone: bonus chasers, free spins enthusiasts, and players who just like a polished game theme. North Carolina online casino sites have all of this and more, and you won’t have any trouble finding a slot title that fits your preferences.

Table Games

Roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and many other table games appear at North Carolina online casinos. They bring the experience of North Carolina gaming tables to the digital world, allowing you to enjoy some of the world’s favorite table games at home or on the go for real money.

Live Dealer

Some online casino sites even offer live dealer games that truly emulate the feel of playing at a North Carolina casino. Dealers dole out hands via live stream while the computer tracks wins and pays out bets. You can message the other players at your virtual table to add a community element to the gaming experience, as well.

Best North Carolina Deposit Methods

At land-based casinos, North Carolina players can visit the cashier’s cage or an ATM to withdraw funds to use at the property’s games. Online casinos require digital payment methods, and there are plenty available for North Carolina gamblers.

Credit, Debit, or Prepaid Cards

Credit and debit cards are nearly everywhere in the US. Most players have them, making this a quick and easy way to fund your North Carolina online casino account; most casinos accept VISA, Mastercard, and Discover.

Prepaid cards allow you to transfer funds onto a card, then use them to deposit money into an online casino wallet. This method is ideal for players who don’t wish to use their personal credit or debit card.

Online Banking

You can often connect your bank account directly to a North Carolina online casino to withdraw winnings. But this is also a quick and easy deposit method, and one of the most popular around. Wire transfers and ACH e-checks are commonly accepted at casino sites, too.

PayPal and E-Wallets

If you have an account with an online wallet service such as PayPal, Skrill, or Neteller, you can use that to deposit funds into your North Carolina online casino account. These methods streamline the payment process, allowing you to deposit with just a few clicks (or taps on your mobile).

North Carolina Gambling Laws and Online Options

Traditionally, North Carolina has held fairly conservative stances when it comes to gambling. There is still only a very limited amount of casino gaming here, and it was one of the most recent states to establish a lottery. All the while, lawmakers have been fighting battles against those who have tried to find “creative” ways to get around gambling laws through the establishment of sweepstakes cafes and other venues.

One area where the peace has been held, however, is in the case of North Carolina online casinos. Some US states have been very progressive in their approaches to online casino gaming. New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have regulated and launched online casino operations to great success. Other states are following in their footsteps. It remains unclear whether North Carolina will ever fully allow online casinos. There has been no serious consideration of the issue so far, meaning that online casino players in North Carolina won’t be able to play on state-regulated sites anytime soon, and will have to stick to playing at foreign online casinos for the foreseeable future.

Conservative Approach Shapes Landscape

The modern effort to bring gambling to the state of North Carolina began in the 1940s. That’s when charitable organizations in some areas were allowed to start offering bingo for fundraising purposes. Laws like these began to pop up all over the state over the next few decades, with various cities, counties, and other municipalities having different rules for their operation. That confusion was resolved in 1979, when a state-wide law finally authorized both bingo and raffles across the state.

In more recent years, efforts to regulate gambling have been somewhat more contentious. Take, for instance, the introduction of regulations on video poker machines. Passed in the year 2000, the rules allowed only three machines per venue and prevented any new games from being installed. Before this legislation was passed, they had become rather widespread with little control.

In 2006, with tens of thousands of illegal machines still operating, the State Senate began attempts to ban the game outright. However, they met unexpected opposition in the House, where Speaker Jim Black continuously stopped these efforts. He eventually relented when he was being investigated for having ties with the video poker industry. The games were then phased out over the next year, with a complete ban ushered in in 2007.

Since then, the state has had to deal with some locations that have tried to work around the new rules on video poker. Usually known as “sweepstakes parlors,” these operations offered games that were ostensibly only rewards for buying phone cards or time on the Internet, but the vast majority of customers were only there to play the games themselves. A series of legal challenges took place between a new law which was passed in 2010, and a ban which was put in place in 2013.

Even getting a lottery introduced into the state proved to be very challenging. By the early years of the 21st century, North Carolina was the only state on the East Coast without a lottery, with both conservative Republicans and some progressive Democrats blocking efforts to put one into place.

But lottery proponents had a plan. With two known Senate opponents unavailable to vote on August 30, 2005, they called for a vote on the issue. The result was a 24-24 tie, with Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue casting the tiebreaking vote in favor of establishing the lottery. Since then, the lottery has offered scratch card games and drawings throughout the state and has also participated in major interstate drawings like Mega Millions and Powerball.

The most significant expansion of gambling in North Carolina has come from the only federally recognized tribe within its borders: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. In 1994, the Cherokee negotiated a compact with the state government that allowed for some electronic games to join an already existing bingo hall. Further compacts allowed table games to be offered starting in 2012. Today, the tribe operates two North Carolina casinos: Harrah’s Cherokee, and the Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, which opened in late 2015.

Competition Could Drive Change

Given the traditional stance towards online casinos in North Carolina, it seems unlikely that internet gaming (at least in any regulated form) will be coming to the state in the near future. However, there are still a few issues that could impact the land-based industry over the next few years.

For one, there are still battles brewing over the sweepstakes cafes that operate in various locations. While several states have had trouble ridding themselves of these businesses, North Carolina may have had the most difficult time ending their operations. In 2015, more locations were raided, and several companies finally agreed to end their efforts to run games. But still more operators are hanging on, banking on slight rule changes or other technicalities to keep themselves alive. In December 2015, several more businesses received cease and desist letters warning of consequences if they did not shut down their sweepstakes cafes in the next 30 days.

Among more legitimate gambling operations, North Carolina is keeping a close eye to increasing regional competition, even if it hasn’t quite hit the state borders yet. Expansion in Delaware and Maryland could eventually possibly prompt similar efforts in Virginia, while Georgia’s sudden interest in bringing massive resorts to the state - particularly in Atlanta - could trigger South Carolina to respond. Such a domino effect has the potential to drag North Carolina into the online gaming race as well – though it is likely at least a few years before we start seeing pressure building here.

Play at Our Top Casinos in North Carolina

At the moment, there is no regulation on online gambling in North Carolina, which is hardly surprising, given the overall climate towards gaming in the state. There has been no strong effort to put a licensing system into place here, and consequentially, there haven’t been any major debates among lawmakers about the issue.

Still, none of this means that you can’t play at online casinos in North Carolina. Many foreign operators accept players from North Carolina. There are also no laws criminalizing playing these games, so people living here are free to play real money slots, table games, and more on a variety of trusted sites.

Online Casino North Carolina FAQ

Yes, you can. Although North Carolina prohibits online casinos operating from within the state, plenty of offshore casinos are happy to offer their services to players from North Carolina.

Check out our list of top casinos for North Carolina players, featuring a wealth of trusted and safe sites that players in the state can enjoy time and time again.

You most certainly can! Our list of the best online casinos in North Carolina includes sites that allow you to wager and win real money. Whether you prefer slots, table games, or live dealer titles, there is something for you . North Carolina online casinos also offer plenty of secure deposit and withdrawal options, to make playing online easy and fun.

There are a number of online casinos in North Carolina that have made it to the top of our list. We strive to pick the best online casinos by carefully researching and vetting each one against a number of criteria including security, game variety,and bonuses. Scroll through our recommended list and find the best one for you.

Unfortunately, North Carolina’s online gambling laws are fairly strict and do not allow for much. Players in the state generally have to stick to foreign operators or sweepstakes sites for an online gambling experience. State-sanctioned online gambling methods are non-existent in North Carolina however, the landscape is ever-changing, and the state could change its stance in the future.

Anyone 21 years of age and over can play at land-based casinos in North Carolina. The same goes for all North Carolina online casino sites. Players in the state who are 18 or older can still participate in the state lottery. These measures have been in place for quite some time, and we don’t see North Carolina changing its gambling age any time soon.

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