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Anyone aged 18 and up can play online casino games and redeem cash prizes at the best online sweepstakes casinos in North Carolina. This guide explains how social and sweepstakes casinos work in the state, and the slots and table games you can play. We will also discuss the history of gambling in North Carolina and the retail casinos in the Tar Heel State.

Online Casino Gaming for Cash Prizes in North Carolina

Our expert reviewers have uncovered the best social and sweepstakes casinos in North Carolina. Click any of the links below to automatically qualify for a no-purchase bonus, which will allow you to start playing for cash prizes straight away.

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How NC Sweepstakes & Social Casinos Work

North Carolina sweepstakes and social casinos provide players with two types of coins. There are Gold Coins, which have no monetary value. You can use them to play any casino games for entertainment purposes. Sweepstakes casinos also give you free premium coins, which are often known as Sweeps Coins or Sweepstakes Coins. Win these coins, and you can redeem them for cash prizes. Players can purchase additional coins, or receive coins for free via a variety of promotions, including logging in once each day.

How We Rank the Best North Carolina Online Casinos

We break our reviews of North Carolina online casinos down into six key areas. The best NC sweepstakes casinos and social casinos excel in each of these categories:

  • Availability: First, an online casino must be legally available in North Carolina. We identify social and sweepstakes casinos that comply with the state’s sweepstakes regulations. That means anyone aged 18 or older can play for fun or try to redeem cash prizes at these sites.
  • Game Selection: We then delve into the game variety and game quality at each online social or sweepstakes casino in North Carolina. Our experts are looking for sites that host hundreds of fair, reliable, well-designed games from reputable providers like NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, and BGaming. They also make a note of any exclusive games, titles with exceptionally high Return to Player rates, and particularly innovative games.
  • User Experience: Some online casinos available to NC players are glitchy, unreliable, and difficult to navigate. We avoid those sites, and we narrow down our search to online casinos that are neatly laid out and accessible to beginners, with fast-loading pages and dependable software that is free of glitches.
  • Bonuses: Next, we look into the bonuses available at each site. Our reviewers focus on the size and regularity of the promos, along with the ease of the playthrough requirements. We uncover the online casinos that offer large sweepstakes casino no deposit bonuses on signup, plus daily and weekly promos for all players, contests, leaderboards, prize drops, coin purchase discounts, loyalty rewards, and more.
  • Redemptions: We then consider how quick and easy it is to redeem a cash prize. Our experts consider the minimum and maximum redemption limits, the range of casino payment options, and the withdrawal speeds. Check out our list of the fastest payout casinos.
  • Support: Finally, we review the level of customer support. Some impressive online casinos fall at this final hurdle. If a casino offers great games and slick software, but the customer service is bad, we will remove it from the list.

North Carolina Online Gambling Snapshot

Gambling TypeLegalDetails
Online Sports BettingYesNorth Carolina legalized online sports betting when Gov. Roy Cooper signed HB 347 in 2023.
Online LotteryYesNo, the North Carolina lottery is not available online.
DFS ContestsYesDFS apps such as DraftKings and FanDuel are available in North Carolina.
Online Horse BettingYesNorth Carolina also legalized pari-mutuel wagering for horse betting when HB 347 was signed into law.
Real Money Online CasinosNoNorth Carolina has not legalized real money casino sites, but anyone aged 18 or older can play at social and sweepstakes online casinos.
Online PokerNoThere are no legal real money online poker rooms in North Carolina.

Online Casino Games in North Carolina

Online sweepstakes casinos offer many of the same games you would find at brick-and-mortar casinos such in North Carolina such as Harrah’s Cherokee and Catawba Two Kings Casino. These real money slots are split into three main categories:

Slots in North Carolina

Every online casino in North Carolina offers a range of slots. Sites like WOW Vegas, McLuck, and Pulsz offer hundreds of online slots from a wide array of providers. These games are easy to understand, fast-paced, and varied, so they are popular among North Carolinians.

The slots at NC online casinos fall into these main sub-categories:

  • Classic Slots | These games are inspired by the mechanicalstepper slots that dominated retail casinos before video slots were invented. They normally have just 3 reels, and they typically have a low level of volatility.
  • Video Slots | This genre covers most of the modern slots from famous providers such as IGT, NetEnt, Betsoft, Habanero, and 3Oaks. They normally have at least 5 reels, and they use graphics, soundtracks, storylines, scatters, bonus rounds, wilds, and other features to enhance the gameplay.
  • Megaways Slots | Some slots use the Megaways feature, which was designed by a studio called Big Time Gaming. It generally results in more than 100,000 ways to win, which makes the gameplay more varied.
  • Progressive Jackpot Slots | These slots offer the chance to scoop a large jackpot, whether you play with Gold Coins or premium coins. A portion of every bet placed contributes to the jackpot, which grows and grows until one player wins it.

Table Games in North Carolina

Table games often have higher Return to Player (RTP) rates than slots. Some also require a degree of strategy, which appeals to certain players in North Carolina. These are some of the most popular table games:

You will often find multiple variants of these games at the best NC online casinos. For example, you might find single-deck blackjack and double-deck blackjack, or American and European roulette. Poker-style games are common too.

Most NC online casinos offer virtual table games, but some have live dealer games too. If you sign up with High 5 Casino, you can play live blackjack and roulette games with a real dealer.

More North Carolina Online Casino Games

Some games do not fit neatly into the slots category or the table games section of a North Carolina online casino. They include scratch-offs, keno, bingo, fishing games, Slingo slots, and more.

Some online casinos also have a section for variety games. It may be referred to as the arcade games section, the specialty games section, or simply “Originals.” These games draw inspiration from classic arcade and PC games such as Minesweeper.

History of Gambling in North Carolina

Gambling was popular in North Carolina during the colonial era. The territory enacted its first gambling laws in 1749 when an English statute adopted by the General Assembly invalidated gambling debts greater than £100. Another law passed in 1753 banned gambling in public and limited a gambler’s losses to 40 shillings per day. Lawmakers imposed punitive taxes on gambling establishments in the second half of the 18th century.

North Carolina became the 12th state to join the Union in 1789. The dollar had replaced the pound by that point. In 1826, Judge Archibald Murphy was authorized to raise up to $15,000 via a lottery to fund a book on North Carolina’s history. However, lotteries were banned in most of the South in 1835 following a nationwide crackdown.

In 1939, the General Assembly authorized a racing track to be built in Morehead City. A couple of greyhound racing tracks appeared in the ensuing years, but the North Carolina Supreme Court ordered them to close in 1954. The first laws permitting charity bingo games appeared in 1945 when they were permitted in Mecklenburg County. Other counties followed suit, and a statewide law allowing bingo and raffles was passed in 1979.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians began running high-stakes bingo games in 1982. The tribe reached a compact with Gov. Jim Hunt in 1994, and it opened a casino attached to its bingo parlor the following year, managed by Harrah’s Entertainment. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opened a second casino in 2015, and the Catawba launched a casino in 2021.

In 2023, Gov. Roy Cooper signed HB 347, which legalized online sports betting, pari-mutuel betting on races, and in-person sports betting at pro sports stadiums. The state has not yet legalized real money online casinos or poker rooms like some other USA online casino states.

Retail Casinos in North Carolina

There are three tribal casinos in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians added an interim casino to their bingo parlor in 1995. An $82 million permanent casino replaced it in 1997, offering slot machines and video poker. The casino is managed by Harrah’s, which is now part of Caesars Entertainment, and it is called Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

In 2012, Harrah’s Cherokee added table games after the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians signed a new compact with the state. The tribe opened another casino, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River, in 2015. The Catawba Indian Nation opened another own land-based casino in 2021, so these are the three retail casinos in North Carolina:

  • Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain
  • Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee
  • Harrah’s Cherokee River Valley in Murphy

      North Carolina Online Casinos – Bottom Line

      North Carolina’s regulated gambling industry is expanding at a rapid pace. The Tar Heel State legalized online sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering in 2023, but real-money online casinos are still prohibited. There are a few tribal casino resorts, but they are inconveniently located for players in major cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro.

      Fortunately, you can play at social and sweepstakes online casinos in North Carolina. They offer the same games found at real money online casinos elsewhere in the United States. You can play with Gold Coins for as long as you like, but you also have the chance to redeem cash prizes at sites like WOW Vegas and McLuck.

      Online Casinos in Neighboring States

      North Carolina Online Casinos FAQ

      No, real money online casinos have not been legalized in North Carolina. However, you can play at social and sweepstakes online casinos in the Tar Heel State. Sweepstakes casinos give you the chance to redeem cash prizes, but you can also play games for fun.

      Yes, anyone aged 18 or older can redeem a cash prize at sweepstakes online casinos in North Carolina. You will need to earn free premium coins, often known as Sweeps Coins, and complete a playthrough requirement on them. The sweepstakes casino will then allow you to cash out a prize, typically via a bank transfer or Skrill.

      Most sweepstakes online casinos in North Carolina have a $100 minimum withdrawal limit. That means you need to successfully play through at least 100 Sweeps Coins, as the standard redemption rate is 1 Sweeps Coin to $1. You can then request a cash redemption, and the funds will be sent to your bank account or digital wallet.

      There are three tribal casinos in North Carolina. The Eastern Band of Cherokee own Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino. The Catawba Indian Nation added a third land-based casino to the mix when it opened Catawba Two Kings Casino in 2021.

      You must be 21 or older to gamble at a tribal casino, a land-based sportsbook, or an online sportsbook in North Carolina. The minimum age for pari-mutuel betting will also be 21 in the Tar Heel State. Anyone aged 18 or older can buy lottery tickets, play at online sweepstakes casinos, or take part in charity bingo games and raffles.

      About the Author

      Martin Green

      Martin Green

      Martin Green is an experienced writer with a specialist focus on casino gaming. He began covering the online casino industry in 2014, providing regular content for several publications, including USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Arizona Republic, the Miami Herald, and the Kansas City Star. He now writes reviews, guides, and features for and other Catena Media sites. Martin is also a professional soccer handicapper who provides picks for CBS.
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