Is BetMGM Legal in North Carolina?

Whether BetMGM, a leading name in the online betting world, is legal in North Carolina has been a topic of considerable interest among betting enthusiasts.

With the ever-evolving legal landscape surrounding online gambling across the United States, understanding the specific regulations in North Carolina is crucial for those looking to engage in sports betting and other gambling activities online.

This post aims to shed light on the current legal status of BetMGM in North Carolina, providing clarity to residents eager to participate in online betting.

Is BetMGM legal in North Carolina? The short answer is nuanced, as the state’s laws and regulations surrounding online gambling present a complex framework.

North Carolina’s approach to online betting, including sports wagering, has been cautious, with specific legislation guiding what is and isn’t permissible.

This post delves into the details of North Carolina’s gambling regulations, offering insight into where BetMGM stands within this regulatory environment.

Is BetMGM Legal in North Carolina

Overview of Online Betting in the United States

The landscape of online betting in the United States has experienced a dynamic transformation, marked by significant legal shifts and technological advancements that have reshaped how Americans engage with gambling activities.

This evolution is rooted in the complex interplay between federal laws and state-level regulations, which define the contours of the legal online betting environment across the country.

Historically, the legal framework for gambling in the U.S. was heavily influenced by federal legislation, notably the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, which targeted illegal bookmaking operations.

However, the most pivotal moment in the history of U.S. sports betting came with the enactment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992.

PASPA effectively outlawed sports betting nationwide, except for states that legalized sports wagering.

For decades, this law kept the sports betting market dormant, restricting legal sports gambling to a handful of states like Nevada.

The turning point came in May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, striking down PASPA as unconstitutional.

This decision opened the floodgates for states to legalize sports betting at their discretion, leading to a rapid proliferation of legal sports betting nationwide.

States now had the autonomy to draft their own sports betting laws, resulting in a diverse legal landscape where the status of online betting varies significantly from one state to another.

North Carolina’s Legal Stance on Online Betting

North Carolina’s approach to online betting reflects a cautious yet evolving stance, mirroring broader trends in the United States but with distinct local characteristics.

Historically, the state has exhibited a conservative attitude towards gambling, with strict regulations that limited legal gambling activities to a few specific domains.

However, recent legislative developments indicate a gradual shift towards embracing certain forms of sports betting, albeit within a tightly controlled framework.

The legal landscape of gambling in North Carolina has been traditionally anchored around the state lottery and a limited number of tribal casinos, which are permitted to offer casino-style gaming under federal law and through state-tribal compacts.

These tribal casinos have been the state’s primary venues for legal gambling, offering games like slots, poker, and blackjack.

Beyond these, options for legal gambling have been sparse, with no commercial casinos and stringent laws against most forms of non-tribal gambling.

The significant change in North Carolina’s gambling laws came in 2019 when the state legislature passed a bill to legalize sports betting at tribal casinos.

This legislation marked a pivotal moment, allowing the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation to offer sports wagering at their casino properties.

This move directly responded to the increasing demand for legal sports betting options and a recognition of the potential economic benefits, such as increased tourism and revenue from taxes and licensing fees.

Is BetMGM Legal in North Carolina?

Determining the legality of BetMGM in North Carolina hinges on understanding the state’s specific regulatory environment for sports betting.

As of the latest updates, North Carolina has taken steps towards legalizing sports betting, but with a scope currently limited to land-based operations within tribal casinos.

This development came after the state legislature passed a law in 2019 allowing sports betting to be conducted on the premises of tribal casino properties. This move opened the door for legal sports wagering within the state, albeit in a limited capacity.

The answer to whether BetMGM is legal in North Carolina depends on the date you’re asking:

  • Today: No, BetMGM is not yet legal in North Carolina. Although online sports betting became legal in the state on June 14, 2023, the launch for licensed operators like BetMGM is still pending.
  • Future: BetMGM is expected to become legal in North Carolina soon. The official launch date for online sports betting, including BetMGM, is March 11, 2024.

Therefore, you can’t use BetMGM to place sports bets in North Carolina. However, you can mark your calendar for March 11, when you can legally sign up and enjoy their services.

Implications for North Carolina Residents

For North Carolina residents, the current legal stance on sports betting, particularly the restrictions on online and mobile wagering platforms like BetMGM, carries several implications.

While the legalization of sports betting at tribal casinos marks a significant shift in the state’s gambling landscape, the limitations on online betting shape how residents can engage with sports wagering and what they can expect moving forward.

Access to Legal Sports Betting

Residents can place sports bets legally, but only within the physical confines of tribal casinos.

This geographical limitation means that accessing legal sports betting opportunities can be inconvenient for many people, especially those living far from these casinos.

The absence of legal online sports betting options restricts the accessibility and convenience many bettors seek, contrasting sharply with states that have embraced broader legalization of online and mobile sports wagering.

Potential Risks of Unregulated Betting

Residents may turn to unregulated or offshore betting sites without legal online sports betting options to place their wagers.

These platforms operate outside the jurisdiction and regulatory oversight of North Carolina laws, posing risks to bettors regarding data security, fair play, and the assurance of payouts.

The state’s current regulations inadvertently push some bettors towards these less secure betting environments, highlighting the importance of considering the expansion of legal online betting options.

Economic Implications

The restriction on online sports betting also means North Carolina is missing out on potential revenue that could be generated from licensing fees, taxes, and other economic activities associated with a broader sports betting market.

States that have legalized online sports betting have seen significant revenue boosts, which can fund public services, education, and other state priorities.

Expanding legal sports betting to include online platforms for North Carolina could unlock a new revenue stream and economic benefits.

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Future Legislative Changes

The ongoing discussions around expanding sports betting to include online and mobile platforms signal a potential shift in the state’s approach to gambling regulation.

For residents, this means there could be changes that would allow for more accessible and regulated sports betting options.

Legislative changes could also lead to the introduction of reputable online sportsbooks like BetMGM, providing secure and regulated betting options that enhance the overall betting experience while ensuring player protection.

Social Considerations

As with any expansion of gambling activities, there are social implications to consider.

The potential for increased gambling addiction and its associated harms is a concern that accompanies the discussion on legalizing online sports betting.

North Carolina’s approach to this issue, including the implementation of responsible gambling measures and resources for those affected by gambling problems, will be crucial in addressing these social considerations.


As we conclude our examination of the legal status of BetMGM in North Carolina, it’s clear that the state’s cautious approach towards online and mobile sports betting currently places platforms like BetMGM outside the legal betting options for residents.

With sports betting confined to tribal casinos, North Carolinians are watching closely for legislative changes that might open the door to online sports wagering.

Such changes would broaden access to sports betting and introduce new layers of convenience and security through regulated platforms.

The evolving debate in the legislature suggests that the future could shift towards embracing online betting, potentially welcoming platforms like BetMGM into the fold.

Until then, residents and lawmakers weigh the benefits of expanded betting options against the need for responsible gambling measures, underscoring the complex balance between economic opportunities and social responsibilities in the state’s approach to gambling.


Can I legally use BetMGM to place bets in North Carolina?

As of now, BetMGM does not operate legally in North Carolina for online sports betting.

The state currently allows sports betting only within the premises of tribal casinos and has not extended legalization to include online and mobile sports wagering platforms like BetMGM.

Where can I legally place sports bets in North Carolina?

Legal sports betting in North Carolina is confined to tribal casinos.

Residents and visitors can place sports bets at these locations, the only places within the state where sports betting is regulated and legal.

Are there any plans to legalize online sports betting in North Carolina?

There has been ongoing discussion among state legislators regarding the potential expansion of sports betting to include online and mobile platforms.

While specific legislation has been proposed, it remains under consideration, and no definitive timeline has been established for when such changes might occur. 

What risks are associated with using unregulated online betting sites?

Using unregulated or offshore betting sites exposes bettors to risks such as lack of data protection, unfair practices, and potential issues with receiving payouts.

These platforms operate outside legal and regulatory frameworks, meaning bettors have little recourse in disputes.

How can I stay informed about changes to sports betting laws in North Carolina?

To stay updated on sports betting laws in North Carolina, you can follow news from the state legislature and updates from local and national gambling news sources.

The North Carolina Lottery Commission’s website and other regulatory bodies may provide official information and announcements about gambling laws and regulations.

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