North Carolina Casinos and Gambling

North Carolina has a thriving tourism industry with miles of beaches. The state also has a strong college and high school sports environment.

What they don’t have is a large gambling industry.

All organized gambling in North Carolina is conducted by Native American Indian tribes and you’ll only find four locations that could be called casinos. Two locations are only bingo halls, leaving only two locations that operate like most people picture a casino.

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North Carolina has strict gambling laws which prevent casinos from operating outside of Indian reservations and it doesn’t look like this will change any time in the near future.

The state has one poker room located in Cherokee on an Indian reservation. You won’t find any horse race tracks, dog tracks, or any gambling facilities anywhere other than on an Indian reservation.

Here’s a detailed list of casinos the state has to offer, and additional information about North Carolina gambling legislation.

  • Cherokee Tribal Bingo – Cherokee Tribal Bingo, located in Cherokee, North Carolina, is a large bingo hall. You can bet as little as $5 per game, with a top wager of $75 for high rollers. They offer a progressive jackpot and daily and weekly promotions to boost player retention.
  • Eastway Beach Bingo – Aboard a cruise ship, Eastway Beach Bingo opens daily at 2:00 pm to offer low-cost bingo action. With a beach and water theme and environment, Eastway Beach Bingo has a minimum bet of only $1.
  • Harrahs Cherokee Casino – Located in Cherokee, North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino has over 176,000 square feet of casino games and gambling space. The property has over 3,600 machines including slot machines, video poker machines, video blackjack, video craps, and electronic poker tables. The casino has a poker room and over 100 table games including blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, roulette, baccarat, and craps. Harrah’s houses the only legal poker room in North Carolina.
  • Harrahs Cherokee Valley River Casino – Opened in 2015, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy, North Carolina sits on 85 acres and is the home to 70 table games and 1,200 slot machines.

North Carolina Race Tracks

You won’t find any horse race tracks or active greyhound dog racetracks in the state of North Carolina. However, there are some horse training facilities, including the legendary Pinehurst Harness Track in Pinehurst.

Poker in North Carolina

The only legal, live poker room in the state of North Carolina is inside the Harrahs Cherokee Casino. This is one of the top poker rooms in the southeast.

The poker room houses 20 regular poker tables and the facility has hosted some major poker tournaments including a World Series of Poker Circuit event and a 2015 World Series of Poker National event.

Residents of the state also have online poker playing options, but the legality is questionable. Thousands of players based in the United States play poker online every day and I‘ve never seen evidence that a player has been charged with a crime, but that doesn’t make it legal.

If you have any questions check with a local attorney where you intend to play or with a lawyer with national online gambling experience.

North Carolina Casino Legislation

Due to its conservative, Bible culture, North Carolina doesn’t allow any gaming away from the Cherokee Valley Indian reservation area. Gambling is completely against the law in other parts of the state other than non-profit bingo operations. If you’re waiting for North Carolina to make its gambling laws more lenient, don’t hold your breath.

Sports Betting in North Carolina

Sports betting is illegal in North Carolina, along with most states in the country. Sports betting laws in the state are unlikely to change in the near future. This includes horse racing and greyhound racing. Of course, like any other state, you can find illegal bookmakers that’ll gladly take your action.

Just like online poker, you can also find online sports books willing to take bets from North Carolina residents. Before placing wagers online research the market and make sure you only deal with safe businesses. I always check how long an online business has been operating and see if I can find any details about their past customer service practices.

People also gamble in office pools on the NCAA basketball tournament every March without thinking twice. If you live in North Carolina and play in an office pool, you probably don’t have to worry about legal problems, but it’s still illegal in the state.

North Carolina Bingo and Charitable Gaming

Although casino games are illegal in North Carolina, the state government does allow some nonprofit organizations to operate bingo games. Nonprofit organizations must first apply for a license to operate charitable bingo games. These bingo halls are not allowed to offer any other forms of gambling, including but not limited to blackjack, poker, and craps. North Carolina has three registered bingo halls.


Just like most other hypocritical states that restrict gambling, North Carolina runs a lottery offering much worse odds than any games found in a casino.

Even though casino gambling isn’t prevalent throughout the state of North Carolina, the lottery is quite popular. Lotto players can pick up tickets for the Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, Powerball, and Mega Millions at stores all over the state.

Slot Machine Ownership

Slot machines at least 25 years of age or older may be purchased and owned by individuals in the state of North Carolina. However, individuals are not allowed to operate slot machines for profit, even at home.


North Carolina is a beautiful state with many fun activities for residents and tourists. Unfortunately, due to strict gambling laws, casinos are rare in the state. Gambling is only legal on Indian reservations so when traveling to North Carolina, unless you are headed to a town on an Indian reservation, you won’t be able to roll dice or play a slot machine.