North Carolina Legal Poker 2024

North Carolina

When it comes to online poker North Carolina, as with so many other US states, exists in a huge, fat, world of gray. Whether poker is a game of chance, whether betting on the Internet is illegal, and the existence of legal tribal casinos all add to the muddied waters of pokere legislation.

Betting on a "game of chance" is a felony under state law, but as of June 2024, no individual has ever been charged or prosecuted with playing their favorite Texas Hold'em games on an online poker NC site.

So, where do you stand in the Old North State if you're an online poker player? Can you play at legal poker sites in North Carolina? Let's take a look at some of the existing betting laws.

What Gambling Laws Exist in North Carolina?
What Gambling Laws Exist in North Carolina?

Under Section 14-292 for the North Carolina General Statutes, "any person or organization that operates any game of chance or any person who plays at or bets on any game of chance at which any money, property or other thing of value is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor." So if you're thinking about operating your own online poker NC site, you should probably reconsider.

Only state lotteries and charitable gaming are exempt from the law, so legal poker sites in North Carolina aren't covered.

However, in typical 'gray area' fashion, nothing is specifically mentioned in state law when it comes to playing at online poker NC sites. So, for now, Americans in North Carolina can continue to enjoy real-money poker online at unregulated sites.

Are Any More Bills Likely?
North Carolina - Are Any More Bills Likely?

That's not to say lawmakers haven't started acting in regards to new technology.

In 2006, having just legalized lotteries, NC lawmakers banned video poker and electronic gambling. This led to 'video sweepstakes' games parlors opening up across the state which offer casino-style gaming with cash prizes.

Despite the sweepstakes outlets being banned in 2013, some shops still operate.

When it comes to any progression on Internet gaming, as of 2024 nothing has been set in motion, and we are unlikely to see NC going the same way as Nevada any time soon. But don’t worry. The banning of video poker and electronic gambling hasn't stopped the NC online poker world from growing. You can still find legal poker sites in North Carolina (at least ones that are regulated internationally)

What's the Live Poker Scene Like?
North Carolina - What's the Live Poker Scene Like?

There are just two legal brick-and-mortar casinos operating in NC - both tribal and Cherokee-run - which offer real-money table games and poker. There was strong opposition to the move, but tribal casinos are protected under The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, and an anti-gaming push subsequently failed.

Major casino chain Harrah's is in charge of one of the legal casinos and offers some poker games via NC-built PokerPro 'electronic' poker tables. These dealerless touch-screen tables have been trialled in some Vegas casinos with mixed results. It's a lot like playing at online poker North Carolina sites, except you have to leave your home to actually do it.

The Future of Legal Poker In North Carolina
The Future of Legal Poker In North Carolina

It's fairly easy to say that legalized and regulated online poker won't be coming to the Turpentine State any time soon, unless some kind of federal efforts are made to regulate countrywide (and that's even less likely to happen).

Legal poker sites in North Carolina (in terms of land-based poker rooms) have only been in the state for a few years, and a regulated lottery appeared much later than in most other US states, so it's fair to say that the Old North State will be playing catch-up if, and when, most other states legalize in some capacity.

And with such anti-video gaming sentiment felt in the state, as seen with the sweepstakes crackdown, it's unlikely at the moment that Internet poker would be considered anytime soon. That's disappointing news for online poker North Carolina hopefuls.


Can I Play Online Poker Legally in North Carolina?

Technically, gambling online is illegal. But so far, no specific laws have been introduced ruling for or against the playing of Omaha, Hold'em or Stud on the web. As in many states in the Union, no player has ever been prosecuted in North Carolina for playing poker online.

What Age Do You Have to Be To Gamble?

At legal land-based casinos in NC, you have to be 21 or over. A state lottery also operates, and you have to be 18 or over, although you can't buy tickets online.

Are There Any Live Casinos in North Carolina?

Yes - just two legit brick-and-mortar casinos operate in the state: both Cherokee-run. So you can go from playing at legal poker sites in North Carolina to playing at live casinos pretty seamlessly.

Can I Make Real Cash Deposits?

Some US poker rooms online accept real-money transactions from players anywhere in the country. While some banks and third-party processors may struggle to handle your online poker payment, there's nothing to stop NC residents playing for dollars on the web. There are many online poker NC legal sites that are licensed in Europe and elsewhere, so you can trust them for payment processing.