You are here

Is Online Gambling Legal in North Carolina? - Online Poker is for Sure!

North Carolina's state map
North Carolina's state flag

North Carolina has a rich history in many activities, but poker is not one of them. Luckily, players don’t have to worry about that as offshore sites accept players for North Carolina online poker, giving their citizens all of the options available to US-based players.

This is a great boon to poker players in North Carolina who don’t want to risk playing in shady underground "home" games to get their poker fix. While regulated online poker might be quite a ways off in the future, these gambling sites are great now and offer rewards that would far outstrip anything a regulated site for only North Carolina citizens could offer. Below are a list of those great sites and their promotions for you to choose from!



VISIT THE REAL MONEY SITE WITH THE:
most users playing cta best mobile poker room cta highest rakeback % cta $10 offer - no deposit - at America's Cardroom best sportsbook online cta Best casino on the internet for NC players


Table of Contents

1.   Poker Sites
      1.1. Ignition
      1.2. Chico Poker Network
      1.3. Intertops
      1.4. Winning Poker Network
      1.5. Grand Poker Network
2.   Selection Guidelines
3.   Payments
4.   Laws
5.   Gambling History
6.   Regulated Poker?
7.   Live Gambling
8.   Conclusion
9.   Address in Nearby State?
10. Frequently Asked Questions
11. Additional Resources

 

Online Poker Sites Available in North Carolina

Sorting among your options for North Carolina online poker can be a taxing endeavor, which is why you may wish to restrict your search to the entities we present below. We've investigated all of them thoroughly to make sure that they're on the level and are ready to send you your winnings faithfully and speedily. No matter which of these reputable organizations you choose to sign up with, you'll be able to look forward to honest games, well-functioning software, and superb customer support.

 

    Ignition Poker

Image of Ignition Poker's Good Features

Ignition Poker is the largest site open to North Carolinians, so it certainly warrants your consideration if you're looking for a place to play. This PaiWangLuo Network partner room provides new players with a 100% up to $1,000 bonus to use at the tables. It's worth 30% rakeback on your tournament and SNG play. The bonus clears at a variable rate in ring games, but its payback percentage is a bit less than in tourneys.

 Play at Ignition Poker cta

No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, and Pot Limit Omaha/8 cash game tables abound here at stakes ranging from $0.02/$0.05 to $10/$20. In addition, there's Limit Hold'em and Limit O/8 spread as high as $30/$60. The Zone Poker format is a type of fast-fold poker where all participants, upon folding their hands, are moved immediately to new tables where they get new hole cards. This continuous dealing enable very rapid gameplay, and it's not unusual to be able to play several hundred hands in one hour of Zone.

Tournaments of the single- and multi-table varieties abound. For sit-n-goes, you get to choose your buyin level from a range of $0.05 through $200 + $14. On the MTT front, there are contests at both low and high price points that guarantee $1.5 million in prizes per week. The most prominent of them is the $150 + $12 $100,000 Guaranteed, which runs on Sunday and almost always tops its guaranteed figure, sometimes by quite a healthy margin. A few times per year, Ignition hosts series of dozens of events with payouts often surpassing the seven-figure mark. An example of this type of series is the Black Diamond Poker Open.

Ignition's extends anonymized gameplay to its ring games, SNGs, and tournaments. That is, no one's usernames are visible to anyone else. Therefore, player tracking tools and HUD displays have a much reduced value here, and recreational users feel more comfortable joining in the games. The effect that this has had on game quality cannot be ovverstated; you'll find loose, multi-way action here more often that you would at almost every other virtual cardroom.

Ignition Poker provides installers for Mac and Windows desktop software. The poker room is also available for mobile devices through a web-based interface, but logging into the site via this means will only grant you access to the cash games. Tournaments and sit n' goes aren't yet available for mobile systems. Regardless of whether you prefer to play on a computer, phone, or tablet, you can access the attached casino for hundreds of games, and you'll get a 100% up to $1,000 casino bonus when you do so.

Ignition CTA Image - Professional Rakeback

To begin playing at Ignition today, press the banner link above. To become better acquainted with what this site offers, take a glance at our detail-laden Ignition Casino Poker review.

 

        Chico Network

Chico Poker Positive Attributes Image

With poker tables in addition to casino games, sportsbetting, skill games, and more, the sites on the Chico Poker Network are places where you can comfortably satisfy all your real money gaming urges. Our top CPN site for Americans is called Sportsbetting.ag, and it will equip you with a 100% up to $2,500 poker bonus when you deposit to your account for the first time. The bonus offers the same value as a 33% rakeback program would.

Spotsbetting.AG Poker Play Now CTA Banner

At SB.ag, you can enjoy NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8 cash games at stakes ranging from penny games up to $5/$10. There's a Bad Beat Jackpot at certain Hold'em tables of $0.50/$1.00 and above, which could allow you to scoop up hundreds of thousands of dollars if you take a monster hand to showdown and lose. In the past, this jackpot has been triggered for $650,000.

At the low end of the sit-n-go scale, games are listed at $0.05 with no house fee, and the highest competitions cost $200 + $10 to enter. There's a surprisingly high amount of activity in these SNGs, and you won't have to wait long for one of them to fill except perhaps at the top buyin level. Unfortunately, this bustling scene doesn't translate over to the multi-table tourney section, where most of the contests are denominated at $33 and below. There is, however, a Main Event on Sundays that costs $90 + $9 and hands out a minimum of $50,000. On the last Sunday of each month, this guarantee grows to $100,000, and the buyin is augmented to $100 + $9.

The Chico Network has come up with several ways to reward its loyal users. As you play, you'll accumulate comp points that can be used to buy into select tournaments at a rate of about 5% cashback. On top of this, there are three leaderboards in the three major disciplines of poker: cash games, sit-and-goes, and tourneys. In total, these leaderboards award $20,000 each week. You can attempt to climb the leaderboard ranks from a Mac, PC, iOS, or Android machine because there's poker software for each platform.

Banner Highlights CTA for SBAG

You can join up at Sportsbetting.ag now by clicking on the banner above. Check out our accurate review of the Sportsbetting poker product for more information. Or learn all about sister site BetOnline in our BetOnline overview page.

 

    Horizon Network

Image Showing Intertops' positive features

A trusted bookmaking organization for more than 30 years, Intertops has broadened its offerings since it was founded to now include poker and casino games too. It's the main site on the Horizon Poker Network, and its reputation for integrity is hard to match among all online gambling firms. When you open a new account at Intertops and make a deposit, you'll be entitled to a 200% bonus up to $1,000 and 100 free lines to use in the casino.

Play Now Banner for Intertops

The bonus moneys will release into your balance at a rate that depends upon the particular games you play, but they're equal to about 27% valueback overall. In addition, when you sign up through our links, you'll qualify for 36% dealt rakeback. The 100 casino free bets deliver about $90 or more in expected value if you devote them to the blackjack tables.

Intertops isn't the best place for those who like big-stakes action or heavy multi-tabling because the player volume numbers aren't capable of supporting such activities. But if you're content to while away the time at a table or two of $50nl or below, then this is an excellent room to call home. SNG fans might be disappointed because the highest games that run here are typically $5 matches, but MTT enthusiasts may fare better. There's a $50 + $5 game called the Sundowner every day, and it comes with a guarantee of $1,500 ($2,500 on Sundays). Besides this, you'll see a plethora of micro- and small-stakes tourneys in the lobby at all times.

There's a $4,000 rakerace every week, and the total volume of play you'll have to put in to get something out of it isn't too challenging to achieve. About every month or so, there's a reload bonus, and you can furthermore use the gold coins rewards currency to purchase no deposit bonuses whenever you want. Intertops runs frequent step satellites to live events, and there are oftentimes sizeable overlays in these feeder tournaments.

Intertops Banner CTA Image

For 36% rakeback and a host of other benefits, click the banner link above to go to Intertops. Our in-depth Intertops review contains a lot of other details about this poker room.

 

     Winning Network

Positive Features of WPN

Descended from the Yatahay Network, which began serving U.S. poker players in 2001, the Winning Poker Network has a nearly unblemished history of doing the right thing by its customers. Americas Cardroom is the primary network site, and it will present you with a 100% up to $1,000 bonus (worth 20% rakeback) when you elect to register your new account. You'll also receive a complimentary gift of $50, good toward Jackpot Poker SNG buyins.

Americas Cardroom, Play Today

Cash game poker in big-bet formats (NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha/8) is waiting for you at blind levels between $0.01/$0.02 and $25/$50. For fixed-limit games (Texas Hold'em, Omaha/8, Seven Card Stud, and Seven Card Stud Hi-Lo), the blinds top out at $30/$60 and even higher in some variants.

The WPN has created two non-standard sit n' go configurations: Jackpot Poker and SNG 2.0. Each of these types of games includes random elements to generate excitement while still remaining faithful to the traditional rules of poker. Don't forget that you'll be able to play $50 worth of Jackpot Poker courtesy of Americas Cardroom without having to use up your own cash. The rest of the sit-and-gos are about what you would expect although the stratospheric contests that require thousands of dollars to enter can't be found at most other poker rooms.

If multi-table competitions are what you're looking for, then you'll be pleased by the assortment of game styles, buyin levels, and guarantees that populate the lobby seven days a week. The big-name tournament is called the Sunday Special. It requires you to pay $200 + $215 to join in the fun, and it comes with a hefty $150,000 guarantee, enough to make it the largest weekly tourney open to players in the U.S.A. Once every couple of months, there's a Million Dollar Sunday, costing $500 + $40 and paying out at least $1 million to the fortunate individuals who finish in the money. Less frequently, there are series, like the Online Super Series, that feature myriad events and sometimes even come with additional leaderboard prizes.

Speaking of leaderboards, there are two of them per week. The Beast awards cash and satellite entries to the top ring game rakers. It has awarded more than $12 million throughout its lifetime. The Sit & Crush promotion is similar, but it is for sit-and-go players. Every player is also eligible for the Elite Benefits program, which hands out real money based upon the number of points you collect through your normal play.

ACR Highlights CTA Image

Click above on our banner to open an account at Americas Cardroom now. For further enlightenment on what to expect at this site, consult our thorough review page on ACR.

Because it's a member of a poker network, Americas Cardroom cooperates with several other companies, which have all banded together to increase their ability to provide what their users want. Other premium sites on the Winning Network are: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), and PokerHost (read review). Rakeback is available at all of these rooms; for instructions on how to obtain it, go to our informative page on WPN rakeback.

 

        Grand Network

GPN Positive Features Icons

The Grand Poker Network has only been around since 2014, but the firm behind it, 5Dimes, has been offering its betting services for more than 20 years. It's mainly a sportsbook, but this doesn't mean that it ignores the poker component of its lineup. For an upstart poker room, it has some of the best software we've seen. It's available for desktop machines, with dedicated Windows and Mac installers, as well as mobile Android and iOS smart devices. There's also a Flash version that you can use on any system with a fairly modern web browser.

There are only ever a handful of tables with players seated at 5Dimes, so you won't be able to just jump into whatever stakes and table size you want. However, once you get past this minor irritation, you'll soon see why we recommend this site. Most of the opponents, simply put, seem to be missing a chromosome or two. This is because the heavy crossover traffic from the sports betting and casino divisions softens up the games to a considerable degree. Cash games exist from $0.05/$0.10 to $1/$2.

Every tournament at 5D is priced at $5 + $.50 or lower, so the prize pools aren’t anything to write home about. Yet, there are many profitable spots in the schedule because there are a few MTTs every day that don't have any house fees. Even for those that do have fees, you'll get half of them back with the 50% rakeback deal that also applies to ring games as well. A $500 Sunday freeroll lets you build up your bankroll from a pittance or even from $0.

CTA Banner for 5Dimes

Sign up at 5Dimes today by following the above banner link. To acquaint yourself with the network a bit first, browse over to our page explaining all about the Grand Poker Network.


 

How to Choose the Right North Carolina Poker Site

As you can see, there are several distinct firms offering North Carolina online poker service, and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. We can't tell you for sure which one would be best for you to register at because this will depend heavily on your own preferences and personal situation. What we can do, however, is point out a few of the factors that you'll want to ponder over as you're making your decision.

♦ If you don't want to wait around for a table to fill, then Ignition and WPN have the player liquidity volume that you seek.


♦ If you're eager to start clearing a massive bonus, then the Chico Network's $2,500 bonanza should keep you happy.


♦ If you want to be able to play from a Mac or mobile platform, then Chico, Ignition, and Grand are your best options.


♦ If you approve of rooms with well-thought-out rewards packages, then WPN's Elite Benefits and Horizon's Loyalty Levels programs are for you.


♦ If you seek something off the beaten path, then Ignition's Zone Poker and WPN's Jackpot Poker and SNG 2.0 may be what you desire.


♦ If you long for rakeback bonuses, then Horizon's 36% and Grand's 50% rakeback ought to be sufficient to pad your account balance.


♦ If redeposit bonuses appeal to you, then Horizon and Winning offer you the ability to add funds to your account and receive a nice perk while doing so.

 

Payout Report

Money Bag - Black

The consistency of payment delivery is a valid concern not just for online players in North Carolina but also those around the globe. All of the internet poker rooms we've been discussing reliably send money to their users upon request via check, and depending on which site you join, other methods may be supported as well. Perhaps the best way to proceed is by conducting all your poker-related transactions in the virtual currency Bitcoin, which all of our recommended sites are compatible with. This will allow you to avoid the waiting times and fees inherent in most old-school cashout solutions. To find out more about this exciting crypto-currency, pore over our guide to Bitcoin for novices.

 

North Carolina Online Poker Law

Legal Statute Book

Anyone attempting to search the NC statutes for guidance on poker games is certain to be disappointed. The word “poker” can only be found twice within the entire body of state law, and in each of those cases, it refers to video poker machines, not multiplayer poker games of the sort we're interested in. Because of this lack of specificity on the part of North Carolina's legislators, we must fall back on the general laws related to overall gambling activities and try to work out how poker fits into this framework.

The part of the law that deals with real money gambling is found in Chapter 14, Article 37, “Lotteries, Gaming, Bingo and Raffles.” The main provision that might apply to poker is contained in G.S. 14-292:

Gambling.
Except as provided in Chapter 18C of the General Statutes or in Part 2 of this Article, 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. This section shall not apply to a person who plays at or bets on any lottery game being lawfully conducted in any state.

This law is unusual, compared with other states, in that it treats the operators of proscribed games the same as ordinary players. It prohibits running or participating in “any game of chance,” which isn't exactly clear when it comes to poker because many people, including federal judge Jack B. Weinstein, believe the game to be one of skill, not chance. Unfortunately, case law in the Tar Heel State has gone in the opposite direction. In Joker Club vs. Hardin, an appellate court opined in 2007 that the outcome of poker hands was determined by chance. Here's a quote from that opinion illuminating the thought process of the bench:

Poker, however, presents players with different hands, making the players unequal in the same game and subject to defeat at the turn of a card. Although skills such as knowledge of human psychology, bluffing, and the ability to calculate and analyze odds make it more likely for skilled players to defeat novices, novices may yet prevail with a simple run of luck. No amount of skill can change a deuce into an ace. Thus, the instrumentality for victory is not entirely in the player's hand.

In reality, this law is only used to go after those hosting and playing in illicit live gambling activities. North Carolina has in fact been very busy busting up offline poker games, sometimes arresting dozens of people and seizing tens of thousands of dollars. We haven't been able to turn up any evidence of charges being filed against people enjoying online poker from their own homes however. The situation is clear: While you could be subject to unwanted attention from the authorities if you play in underground brick-and-mortar venues, the same isn't true of internal poker sites. Playing online poker isn't a hobby that will get you in trouble with the law.

The offense of gambling is considered a Class 2 Misdemeanor. This type of infraction is punishable by community service for up to 30 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000 if it's a first offense. So even in the unlikely case that the authorities elect to prosecute you under G.S. 14-292 for engaging in internet poker play, and they are successful in achieving a conviction, you won't have to spend a day in jail. Remember that such a sequence of events is a fantastic parlay that's entirely unrealistic because the first part of it, being brought up on charges for partaking in online poker, has never occurred in the history of the state.

Exempt from the NC gambling law are actions “provided in Chapter 18C of the General Statutes or in Part 2 of this Article.” This clause refers to the regulated forms of real money gaming that are supervised by the state. This includes bingo and raffles for charitable organizations and the North Carolina State Lottery. Furthermore, there's something called “beach bingo” that can be hosted even by non-charitable groups. It's basically bingo with a maximum prize of $10. The rules for tribal casinos are contained in 14-292.2, but they're somewhat brief and mention that further details are listed in the compacts signed between a tribe and the state.

Additional sections of Chapter 16, Article 37 deal with permitting gambling in a public facility, gambling on faro, operation or possession of a slot machine, electronic sweepstake machine regulations, and other similar matters. Most of the crimes listed are categorized as Class 2 Misdemeanors, but some of them are Class H Felonies, which may involve a small amount of jail time. The punishment clauses for conducting gambling enterprises in the state are pretty lenient, which is undoubtedly a consequence of treating players and operators the same under most of the relevant laws. The offshore sites certainly aren't worried. There are very few of them that have a presence in the U.S. market that ban North Carolinians from accessing their service. These corporations have retained the services of professional legal counsel who have most likely advised them that the risk of prosecution against them is minor.

 

 

Gambling History of North Carolina

Hourglass

South Carolina, like many states, had a long history of gambling during its colonial period. Unlike areas further north, where lotteries were the main draw, the type of wagering most prevalent was betting on horse races. One had to be wealthy to afford the costs of purchasing, breeding, and training horses, and so entering animals in these races was the preserve of the well-to-do. They attempted to show off their worldly success and enhance their prestige by racing speedy horses. All classes of people, including both the rich and those of humbler means, frequently put down bets on the outcomes of these races. In some cases, entire plantations changed hands as a result of these bets. The Wilmington Jockey Club was founded in 1774.

The authorities, then as now, couldn’t abide an activity involving the exchange of a lot of money without trying to interfere in it. A 1749 law made gambling debts greater than £100 unenforceable, and a few years later, all gambling debts were made unrecoverable. Limits on the amount someone could lose gambling in a day were established, and this figure was set at a mere 5 shillings in 1763.

With the American Revolution in 1776, a lot of the old order was swept away, and new ways of doing things came to the forefront. Horse racing, associated with sprawling English country estates and aristocratic decadence, lost some of its luster in the egalitarian spirit of the times. North Carolina society turned increasingly to lotteries during this era. In the 1780s, several were held to benefit educational institutions located in the state.

Lawmakers continued their assault on real money gaming though. Private lotteries had been banned for a while, although this stricture was widely ignored, and gambling equipment, like dice and cards, were subjected to taxes in 1784. Finally, in 1791, all public gaming tables were disallowed entirely. Lotteries continued flourishing during the early part of the 19th century and grew into elaborate enterprises with ticket agents, professional lottery contractors, and all the other infrastructure of a modern business. However, plenty of scams and underhanded operators infested the industry, and it was banned throughout North Carolina in 1835.

Cavalier Kennel Club
Cavalier Kennel Club in Moyock
Site of Pari-mutuel Greyhound Betting
1949-1954

Almost all forms of gambling remained illegal in North Carolina until 1945 when bingo was allowed at fairs and exhibitions. In the late '40s, the state experimented with greyhound racing, including pari-mutuel betting, but the North Carolina Supreme Court found this unconstitutional in 1954. Bingo and raffles were expanded in subsequent years via a series of ad hoc bills until the regulations governing them were codified into one text in 1979. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians started a bingo hall in 1982 and signed a compact with NC leaders in 1994 allowing electronic games, followed in 2012 by table games.

Raleigh officials had neglected to include video poker machines in any of the restrictive laws that they promulgated, and these devices appeared by the hundreds of thousands throughout the state. They were explicitly prohibited by law in 2007. Next, sweepstakes parlors came on the scene, claiming to sell internet time while incidentally giving customers the opportunity to win prizes in games of chance. These establishments were outlawed in 2013. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Education Lottery was set up in 2005.

 

Regulation Prospects

Black Checkmark

It's only recently that North Carolina began to offer even limited live gambling venues, and it doesn't appear too likely that the state will launch a regulated online gambling market anytime soon. There haven't been any proposals to do so in the past decade, and voters haven't exactly been clamoring for it. The one silver lining is the fact that NC's two offline casinos are managed by Harrah's, a division of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Caesars offers WSOP-branded online poker in the licensed Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware markets, and it has more player traffic than any of its competitors in all three states. If there are any future proposals to establish a state-supervised real money online gaming framework, this powerful corporation would probably support them. Even taking this fact into consideration, North Carolina will almost certainly continue to be a laggard in the realm of authorized gambling both offline and online.

 

Land Based Gaming

Logo of Harrah's Cherokee Casino

North Carolina is about what you would expect for land based gambling in a very conservative state. There aren't any commercial casinos or pari-mutual gambling. That being said, there are still two great casinos available to players in the state, owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and run in partnership with Harrah's: Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino. Only Harrah's Cherokee Casino has poker with 20 tables located within the facility. There are only low-stakes cash games, but the variety of formats is nice for a smaller room: NLHE, LHE, and PLO. Furthermore, there are a couple of low-buyin tourneys every day. Plans by the Catawba tribe to open up a competing casino in Kings Mountain, just outside of Charlotte, have not yet translated into actual construction.

The state also does offer a state lottery, but that shouldn’t be much of a shock as even conservative states don’t really feel like it is true gambling. Charitable bingo and raffles, along with low-stakes “beach bingo,” round out the gaming selection in the Old North State.

 

Final Thoughts

You can play online poker in North Carolina just fine without having to worry about the law. There are quite a few reliable companies that offer their North Caroline online poker services to players like you. Simply pick one of them, sign up for an account, make a deposit, and begin playing today!

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

North Carolina + Adjacent States

If you have another address in a neighboring state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker sites available to you. Here are a list of the states that border North Carolina and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Alabama, GeorgiaKentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. If none of these states pertain to your situation, then our page describing the overall U.S.A. poker market might interest you.

Many people are ignorant of the internet poker scene in North Carolina. If you know anybody, whether a friend, family member, or casual acquaintance, who you think would like to know more about this subject, please share this page with them.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

We hardly believe that everything about North Carolina online poker is obvious, which is why we've attempted to answer commonplace questions about this topic below in our FAQ.

Is Global Poker a legal company in North Carolina?

Our take on this subject is that despite Global's assurances on this point, there may be legal problems with its business model. We can't really get into all the details in the limited space available here, but you can browse through our Global Poker site review for further illumination on this aspect of Global.

 

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!