Sports betting is now legal in two NC casinos. What you need to know before you gamble.

Supreme Court lets states legalize sports betting in historic 6-3 decision

With a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that legalizing sports betting should be left up to each state.
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With a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court ruled that legalizing sports betting should be left up to each state.

A new N.C. law allows legal sports betting at tribal casinos located in the western part of the state.

That’s great for folks who don’t want to sneak around using an illegal bookie right? But when and where will the legal bets be handled? What sports can people place bets on?

Here are some answers to those and other frequently asked questions about the state’s first legal sportsbooks:

Where can I bet legally in NC?

The new law allows on-site betting at Cherokee Indian casinos located in Murphy and Cherokee.

The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is located west of Asheville, near Maggie Valley.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino in Murphy is even further west, near the Georgia and Tennessee borders.

Is there an option for mobile or remote betting?

Not currently. The law is strict, allowing for bets to only be handled at these two casinos. That’s in contrast to neighboring Tennessee, for example, which has legalized sports betting statewide and plans to conduct all its betting online without a physical sportsbook.

When will the Harrah’s NC sportsbooks be open to accept bets?

While no firm date has been established, Harrah’s anticipates being up and running by late fall 2019.

What sports will bettors be able to gamble on?

A full range of professional and college events -- football, basketball, baseball, etc. -- in addition to off-track wagering on races at out-of-state horse tracks.

Will the casinos be adding horse racing?

Not onsite. The only horse wagering will be off-track betting.

Why is sports betting now legal in NC?

Prior to May 2018, Nevada was the only state where legal sports betting was allowed in the U.S. That same month, however, the U.S. Supreme Court removed the ban on legal sports gambling in the other 49 states and the District of Columbia. That left it up to legislatures in individual states to decide if they wanted legal sports gambling in their states. The North Carolina General Assembly took a partial step this year when it passed a bill allowing sports betting only on the two existing tribal casinos run by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the bill into law on July 26.

These two casinos are a long way from the Triangle. Is there a legal sportsbook closer?

The Cherokee Valley River Casino is 357 miles from downtown Raleigh, and the Cherokee casino is 294 miles away. But it is technically not the closest legal sportsbook to there. The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Casino Club at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia is 236 miles from Raleigh. But it is the country’s only private casino. Gambling is open only to guests at the resort’s hotel, resort members or those playing golf or tennis at the resort.

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An Illinois native, Steve Wiseman has covered Duke athletics since 2010 for the Durham Herald-Sun and Raleigh News & Observer. Prior to his arrival in Durham, he worked for newspapers in Columbia and Spartanburg, S.C., Biloxi, Miss., and Charlotte covering beats including the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, University of South Carolina athletics and the S.C. General Assembly.