Sports Betting

Sports Betting is coming to North Carolina. Information on how to participate can be found here.

The North Carolina State Lottery Commission is moving forward with the substantial efforts required to responsibly license and regulate sports betting, and pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, and horse racing itself. The new Sports Wagering and Horse Racing Wagering law gives the commission up to a year, June 14, 2024, to prepare for wagering. The commission’s goal is to make sure sports gaming gets up and running in an effective and appropriate fashion as soon as possible. Here are some of the latest milestones toward achieving that goal.


Under North Carolina’s new Sports Wagering and Horse Racing Wagering law, the North Carolina State Lottery Commission and its staff have the responsibility to license and regulate sports betting and wagers on horse racing.

The law gives the Commission the responsibility to prepare the state for authorized wagering, including, among other things, creating rules and regulations for sports betting and for horse racing wagering; supporting responsible gaming; implementing and administering new licensing programs; and preparing to monitor and enforce the law and rules. The rules and regulations will govern up to 12 sports wagering operators and their service providers and suppliers as well as those operating advanced deposit wagering used in horse racing.

No applications for licenses for sports betting or for advanced deposit wagering associated with horse racing are available at this time, but these materials will be available in the future.

Sports Wagering/Horse Racing Wagering Law

The new law authorizes sports wagering and horse racing wagering and directs the N.C. State Lottery Commission to regulate these activities, provide licenses to qualified actors, enforce legal requirements, and support responsible gaming. Among other things, the law also directs the N.C. Department of Revenue to collect tax revenues and fees generated by the wagering and to audit certain licensees. Review the text of House Bill 347 that created the new law here.

Sports Betting – Where The Money Goes

The N.C. Department of Revenue will collect an 18 percent tax on gross wagering revenues of sports betting and 1 percent of the total pari-mutuel wagers placed on horse racing.

Here’s how the N.C. General Assembly allocates the money raised by sports betting to benefit the state:

  • $1 million annually to North Carolina Amateur Sports to expand opportunities in youth sports.
  • Up to $300,000 annually to collegiate athletic departments at 13 state universities, including Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, N.C. Agricultural & Technical State University, N.C. Central University, University of North Carolina at Asheville, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Western Carolina University, and Winston-Salem State University.
  • $1 million annually to the N.C. Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council for grants of up to $5,000 per team or group, per county, to help cover the cost of travel to in-state or out-of-state sporting events and grants of up to $25,000 to attract amateur state, regional, area, and national sporting events, tournaments, and programs.
  • Certain reimbursements to the N.C. State Lottery Commission and the N.C. Department of Revenue for expenses incurred to implement and administer the new law.
  • Of the remaining proceeds:
    • 20% will be distributed evenly among the 13 state universities to support collegiate athletic departments
    • 30% to a new North Carolina Major Events, Games, and Attractions Fund to foster job creation and investment in the state.
    • 50% to the state’s General Fund.

The General Assembly allocates proceeds from pari-mutuel horse racing to the General Fund, after satisfaction of certain administrative expenses.

Responsible Betting

The N.C. Problem Gambling Program provides effective problem gambling prevention, education, outreach and treatment and recovery services. The new law allocates an additional $2 million a year to expand the program.

Free confidential help is already available through the N.C. Problem Gambling Program –24 hours a day, seven days a week. Talk, text or chat with a trained, licensed clinician that can provide free counseling services. Anyone can use this service.

Additionally, licensed sports betting operators in North Carolina must demonstrate a commitment to responsible betting. To reduce the potentially negative or unintended consequences of sports betting, the law:

  • Establish and use a voluntary exclusion program to allow individuals to exclude themselves from placing sports wagers.
  • States that anyone who has requested a voluntary exclusion from a sports betting operator is prohibited from engaging in pari-mutuel wagering.
  • Includes age verification requirements to ensure that bettors are at least 21 years of age
  • Requires sports operator license applicants to provide information about responsible gaming training offered to their employees
  • Requires that advertising provide information about or links to resources related to gambling addiction and prevention in advertising and marketing of sports betting.
  • Requires that advertising and marketing does not target people under the age of 21 and is not misleading to a reasonable person.

Meetings & Contacts

Unless otherwise specified, meetings of the N.C. State Lottery Commission on sports wagering and horse race wagering will be held at the Commission’s offices or via video conference at times to be designated by the chair. No meetings are scheduled at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sports Betting and Horse Racing Wagering FAQs
What is the status of sports betting and horse racing wagering in North Carolina?
North Carolina’s new Sports Wagering/Horse Racing law, created by the passage of House Bill 347, authorizes sports betting and wagering on horse racing to be conducted by licensed proprietors or services providers. Sports betting or horse racing wagers offered by unlicensed entities is illegal. The law gives the NC State Lottery Commission up to 12 months from the enactment of the new law, June 14, 2023, to begin issuing licenses.
What are the Commission’s responsibilities?
The new law directs the Commission to implement, administer, and enforce aspects of the State’s new statutes concerning wagering on sports and horse racing. Among other things this includes regulating wagering, reviewing licensing applications, supporting responsible gaming, and monitoring and enforcing the law. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Commission must (among other things) set up administrative operations and procedures; hire staff; retain appropriate legal and gaming advisers; draft and adopt rules and regulations to determine the selection of licensees; and then regulate the operations of licensees to maintain financial stability, minimize potential negative consequences, and protect the integrity of the gaming system.
Has the Commission adopted rules and regulations governing sports wagering?
The Commission is currently in the process of drafting rules to regulate sports betting and horse racing wagering. Check back for updates.
Can I place a legal sports bet today?
Currently, sports betting is only allowed at the casinos located on tribal lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation. Otherwise, you cannot place a legal sports bet or wager on a horse race in North Carolina until such time as sports betting and advanced deposit wagering licenses have been granted and the operators with those licenses are authorized by the Commission to begin accepting wagers. In the future, the Commission will identify a first day for authorized, lawful betting.
When will I be able to place a legal sports bet?
The law gives the Commission up to twelve months from the date the law became effective – June 14, 2023 − to authorize sports wagering. In the future, the Commission will identify a first day for authorized, lawful betting.
What will I be able to place bets on?
The new law authorizes waging on professional sports, college sports, electronic sports, amateur sports, or any other event approved by the Commission and well as horse racing, both live and simulcast races.
Where will I be able to place a sports bet?
Once it is authorized, sports wagering will be permitted at a limited number of in-person, regulated locations and via mobile platforms authorized and regulated by the Commission.
Is anyone prohibited from placing bets?
Yes. All of the following persons are prohibited from engaging in sports betting or wagering on horse racing.
  • Any person under the age of 21.
  • Any person who has requested and not revoked a voluntary exclusion designation from sports wagering.
  • Any person who has been adjudicated by law as prohibited from engaging in sports wagering.
  • Any member or employee of the Commission when placing a sports wager in this State.
  • Any employee or key person of an interactive sports wagering operator or service provider license when placing sports wagers with that interactive sports wagering operator.
  • With respect to a sporting event, any participant in that sporting event, including an athlete, coach, trainer, official, or any employee or staff of a participant, when placing a sports wager on that sporting event in which that participant is participating.
  • Any employee or staff of a sports governing body, when placing a sports wager on sporting events with which that individual or sports governing body is affiliated.
Will the North Carolina Education Lottery offer and accept bets on sports and horse races?
No. The North Carolina Education Lottery – which offers instant scratch-off tickets and draw games such as Powerball, Mega Millions, Carolina Cash 5, and Fast Play through retailers and its Online Play platform – will not offer or accept wagers on sports or horse racing. Sports and horse race wagering will be regulated separately from the North Carolina Education Lottery’s core business, the Lottery, and will only be permitted through operators licensed by the Commission.
Is the Commission licensing sports betting and horse racing wager the same Commission that oversees the state lottery?
Yes. Members of the nine-member Commission hold appointive positions; serve five-year terms; and receive no salaries. They receive $15 a day when they attend meetings plus per diem. The responsibilities for licensing and regulating sports betting operators and advanced deposit waging operators is a new responsibility for the Commission and it plans hire a professional staff to perform those functions and then to oversee the staff’s work. The Commission also will continue overseeing the operations of the state lottery which are performed by a professional staff led by an executive director that it appoints. The Commission conducts lottery business during committee and Commission meetings that are generally held each quarter. You can see a list of Commission members here.

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