North Carolina legislators recently shared that legalizing casinos will likely not happen this year. Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger said such legislation probably won’t come up when the state’s General Assembly starts its annual short session on April 24.

Berger championed casino legalization last year but now cites the brief period for lawmaking as why it won’t be pursued. The session runs until July 31.

House Speaker Tim Moore agreed, saying last year’s casino debate “went totally off the rails” and delayed the budget approval. Their comments came after a January poll found most North Carolina voters support allowing commercial casinos here. That support crossed political parties and age groups.

Voters Want North Carolina Casinos

The Meredith Poll survey found a majority of registered North Carolina voters back legal casinos operating in the state. This includes the three existing tribal casinos in western and southern areas.

While casinos seem off the table this session, some gaming issues may still come up. Moore said discussions have occurred about enabling video lottery terminals (VLTs) statewide.

“You already have the lottery, you already have scratch-offs,” Moore said. “In fact, you already have those you can play on your phone right now. So I don’t know that it’s much of a leap.”

North Carolina Sports Betting Launch Nears

If legislators allow VLTs or other gaming this session, it would be the second straight year they expanded gambling here. Last year North Carolina legalized sports betting, including online wagering options.

Legal sportsbooks can start operating in the state on March 11. The North Carolina lottery said approved operators can begin pre-registering customers March 1. No operators have received licensing yet.

Deputy Lottery Executive Director Sterl Carpenter told the Sports Betting Committee that eight of nine license applicants show progress. Stay updated on the latest North Carolina sports betting news and North Carolina sportsbook promos at

Online Sportsbooks Await North Carolina Market Entry

Many popular online North Carolina sports betting apps hope to enter the state market this spring. Operators like FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM eagerly await their chance to compete in North Carolina.

As launch day nears, some may offer special introductory bonuses with a BetMGM North Carolina bonus code or other promo code. Such incentives help them quickly acquire new users upon entering a state.

With North Carolina allowing statewide mobile access, analysts expect it to become a top 10 sports betting market fairly fast. Populous states like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania that permit mobile wagering all see billions yearly in bets.

Of course as an appellate court recently reminded, the path towards allowing sports gambling here took North Carolina many tries over several years. Judges recounted the state’s long history of banning sports betting until last year’s law change.

So residents can celebrate that legal North Carolina sports betting apps will finally go live soon. Check back often to find the best launch day promos as top sportsbooks enter the market in March.

✅ Updated on February 24, 2024 by Frank Sutton