Sports betting in North Carolina still months away


Governor must sign amended compact with tribes, federal authorities must approve.

The good news: residents of North Carolina are allowed to make wagers on sports, and sportsbooks have been built at two tribal casinos.

The bad news: until state and federal authorities grant their respective approval, those sportsbooks remain closed and the process could take several more months.

On 26 July, 2019, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced he had signed 19 bills into law, including a state senate bill allowing the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operate sportsbooks. The tribe has two casinos in the Tar Heel State.

However, the signing of the bill was far from the end of the process. The tribe’s compact had to be rewritten to include language covering sports wagering. According to Cherokee One Feather, a media outlet that serves the tribe, those amendments were not made until last week.

The amended compact now must be approved by the Governor and then the US Department of the Interior. According to, Cooper has not given the tribe a timeline as to when he might sign. If and when he does sign, the Department of the Interior then has 45 days to act on the amended compact. Even then, the first wagers still cannot be placed until the compact is published in the Federal Register.

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