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North Carolina Online Poker

North Carolina Online Poker

The Tar Heel State might be one of the 10 largest in the United States in terms of population, but it has been one of the less progressive American states in terms of gambling law. Its motto might be ‘First in Flight’, but North Carolina has been anything but first as far as legal online poker, or indeed any forms of legal gambling, are concerned.

That is not to say you have no options when it comes to gambling games in North Carolina. There is one land based casino, Harrah’s Cherokee, while you can also play Powerball and Mega Millions through the state’s lottery. However the latter has been running less than a decade and doesn’t offer online ticket sales as of 2019.

Saloon gambling was common in North Carolina around the start of the 20th century, as was the case in a number of other East Coast states, but ever since law enforcement cracked down on the activity there has not been the same acceptance of gambling in the Tar Heel State as there has been elsewhere in the eastern part of America.

As part of the USA’s ‘Bible Belt’, traditional Conservative values have ensured opposition to certain forms of gambling, especially online poker, remain prevalent to this day. However there is no law specifically forbidding North Carolina citizens from playing online poker at home, and no individual has been prosecuted for merely playing the game.


Does North Carolina’s one casino allow poker?

Allow Poker?

Harrah’s Cherokee allows live poker games, as well as games like blackjack and baccarat, however there is no indication that lawmakers hold online poker in the same regard. Indeed, opposition to legal online gambling of any form, not least legal poker sites, remains vocal. Still, there certainly seems to be demand from within the Tar Heel State. The first World Series of Poker Circuit event held in the state, which cost $365 to enter when it was held last year, completely sold out with more than 600 players turning up to become a part of history!

Wasn’t North Carolina involved in some online poker prosecutions before?

To a degree, yes. The ‘Blue Monday’ indictments, a smaller series of online poker indictments which came about a month after the more famous ‘Black Friday’ developments, stemmed from a sting operation using bank accounts in North Carolina among other United States territories. However there is no suggestion that this alone would be a reason for any legal poker sites succeeding or failing in North Carolina.

Which are currently the best poker sites in North Carolina?

Residents of the Tar Heel State have no legal online poker sites regulated in-state, but they continue to be able to access a number of offshore online poker sites, licensed in places like the Caribbean. Without North Carolina regulating online poker, this looks like it could well continue to be their only outlet.

What does the crackdown on internet cafes mean for online poker?

North Carolina authorities have actively pursued internet sweepstakes cafes which have circumvented gambling law to allow individuals to gamble online on casino-style games. This suggests lawmakers may be less amenable to legal poker sites in North Carolina, at least compared to some other states.

If video poker is legal, could legal poker sites follow?

Could Legal Poker Sites become legal?

This seems unlikely. While video poker is permitted within the borders of the Tar Heel State, this is only a recent development and North Carolina has been much slower to allow the activity than other American states. When bearing in mind other factors, such as the Bible Belt conservatism and the presence of only one casino, not to mention the slow adoption of a state lottery, North Carolina is unlikely to join other states in launching legal online poker in a hurry.