Sports Betting Debuts In North Carolina Just In Time For March Madness

Posted on March 19, 2021

Hark! Sports betting is alive in North Carolina.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) opened the state’s first two legal sports betting venues this Thursday.

And the debut comes just in time for March Madness.

North Carolina sports betting gets its wings

In July 2019, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a bill permitting on-site sports betting inside Harrah’s two casino locations.

EBCI had to delay the launch due to regulatory requirements, internal control standards, and pandemic-related complications.

Principal EBCI Chief Richard Sneed originally hoped to have the sportsbook open in time for the Super Bowl. He has been looking forward to this day for quite some time now.

“We are excited to offer legal sports betting at The Book, and just in time for March Madness.”

Sports betting can now be accessed in person at two locations within Tar Heel State borders.

The sportsbook – simply called The Book – opened on March 18 inside Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel.

The first casino is located in Cherokee, while the second can be found in Murphy – both of which are on the western side of the state.

The Book isn’t just functional, it’s comfortable too

While the Book’s design may be functional, it certainly isn’t minimal.

The sportsbook at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is complete with a 90-foot ultra-high definition television screen and reclining chairs.

Customers can view highlights, score tickers, and make their way over to one of seven ticket windows or 10 self-service betting kiosks.

For private groups, bettors can reserve a Fan Cave or Upper Deck seating.

This Harrah’s location has been a longtime favorite of East Tennessee residents, who can access the casino within an hour’s drive of Gatlinburg.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel’s Book is located a few hours from the Tennessee border.

It features a 32-foot ultra-high definition screen, four ticket windows, and five self-service betting kiosks.

The Book operated by William Hill

International sports betting operator William Hill is the man behind the curtain here, so to speak.

Caesars Entertainment partnered up with the sportsbook brand for both North Carolina endeavors, where it now offers exclusive odds, lines, and promos.

North Carolina marks the 16th state where William Hill is operational.

The sportsbook launched in Tennessee on March 11 of this year, continuing its rapid expansion to the east just one week later.

Third North Carolina casino set to open this year

Soon, a third North Carolina casino will enter the picture.

In January, the Catawba Indian Nation signed an agreement with Gov. Cooper that brought its new Kings Mountain Casino Resort one step closer to fruition.

The tribe expects to open a temporary 60,000-square-foot facility – complete with more than 1,300 slot machines, a restaurant, and other amenities – by September.

A permanent casino resort will ultimately be established in its place.

This newest North Carolina casino will be located in Kings Mountain near Interstate 85, roughly 40 minutes west of Charlotte.

If current trends are any indication, Catawba will likely venture to include sports betting in the facility as well.

Photo by Associated Press
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Alec Cunningham

As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. She then returned to her love of written word in 2000 after working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer. As a journalist, she's covered a variety of topics and currently specializes in Tennessee online sports betting and Virginia casino news. She served as a panelist at this year's All American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry.

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