North Carolina Legal Sports Betting Starts Today With The Book Opening at Two Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos

  • Today's 10am public opening will mark North Carolina’s first legal sports betting venues
  • The Book is the result of a Cherokee tribe, Caesars Entertainment, and William Hill partnership
  • The betting facilities in Cherokee and Murphy will be open in time for March Madness wagers
  • Activity kicks off after a long-delayed legal process requiring a gaming compact amendment
Harrah's Cherokee Casino sign
Bettors in North Carolina can finally place legal sports wagers with the launch of The Book betting facilities at two Harrah’s Cherokee casinos on March 18. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Venues open to the public at 10am today

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is opening sports betting venues at its North Carolina properties, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino took to Twitter to share the news of the March 18 opening of The Book facilities to the public at 10am:

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and its sister resort in Murphy are both owned by the Cherokees and operated by Caesars Entertainment. The Book results from a three-way partnership between the EBCI, Caesars Entertainment, and William Hill.

proud to house North Carolina’s first sports betting venues”

Brooks Robinson, regional senior vice president and general manager of Harrah’s Cherokee Casinos, said the company “was proud to house North Carolina’s first sports betting venues.”

Scene set for NC bettors

According to an official press release, The Book at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort will feature a 90-foot wide big screen, along with a reclining-chair viewing area and a raised VIP seating zone. North Carolina bettors can avail themselves of seven ticket-writer windows and ten self-service betting kiosks, with three exclusive ‘Fan Caves’ also available for private groups upon reservation.

The Book at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in Murphy is a smaller-scale version of its sister wagering facility in Cherokee. The installation will include a 32-foot viewing screen, reclining chairs, four ticket-writer windows and five self-service wagering kiosks, along with a lounge reservable for private viewing.

We are excited to offer legal sports betting at The Book, and just in time for March Madness”

Principal chief of the EBCI Richard Sneed said: “We are excited to offer legal sports betting at The Book, and just in time for March Madness.”

Sportsbooks launch a cause for celebration

Today’s opening of the two Harrah’s sportsbooks marks the culmination of a long and circuitous road for the EBCI in bringing legal sports betting to North Carolina.

While the North Carolina General Assembly passed Senate Bill 154 back in July 2019, allowing the EBCI to open retail sportsbooks in the Tarheel State, a required amendment to the tribe’s gaming compact gummed up procedures until late 2020. The tribe finally got its sports betting dream moving again in December 2020, when North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed off on the required amendment to the tribe’s gaming compact.

Back in December, the attorney for the Tribal Gaming Commercial Enterprise, Ann Davis, said she hoped sports wagering would go live in North Carolina in time for the Super Bowl. Answering a question on whether sports betting would be available before the 2021 March Madness, Davis replied: “Absolutely – if we have a March Madness.”

With the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament tipping off this Friday, both sportsbooks are now ready to take bets from North Carolina bettors starting this morning.