North Carolina Casinos - Best Gambling Locations in NC

Read reviews and compare the top casinos in The Old North State

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Despite strict gambling restrictions in North Carolina, tribal casinos are becoming the heart of the state’s gambling industry. This article will explore the legal landscape of these NC land based casinos, highlighting their unique status in North Carolina’s tightly controlled gambling environment.

Most Popular North Carolina Casinos Reviewed

Harrah’s Cherokee

As you step into Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, you’re welcomed by a gaming floor that spans a massive 150,000 square feet. Launched in 1997 by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, it holds the distinction of being the state’s first casino facility.

Your gaming appetite is catered to with an impressive array of over 3,000 slot machines and 100 table games. You can try your hand at popular games like blackjack, craps, and roulette, or sit down at one of the 20 poker tables for a round of Texas Hold’em or Omaha. If slots are more your style, spin the reels on crowd favorites like Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly, and Lightning Link.

Harrah_s Cherokee Casino

When it’s time to refuel, choose from a variety of dining options. Enjoy a succulent steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak House, savor Italian cuisine at the Brio Tuscan Grille, or sample a bit of everything at the Chef’s Stage Buffet.

Beyond the casino floor, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino offers a wealth of amenities. Unwind in one of over 1,100 luxury hotel rooms, take a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool, or pamper yourself at the spa. For fitness enthusiasts, a well-equipped fitness center is available to keep your workout routine on track.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River

Nestled in the stunning mountains of western North Carolina, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino offers an exciting escape into a world of gaming and relaxation. As you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a vibrant gaming floor spanning 50,000 square feet, packed with over 1,000 slot machines, 70 table games, and 15 poker tables.

Whether you’re a fan of classic games like blackjack, roulette, and craps, or you prefer the thrill of slots like Dragon Link, Buffalo Gold, and 88 Fortunes, there’s something for everyone. If you’re in the mood for higher stakes, venture into the high-limit areas for a more exhilarating experience.

Harrah_s Cherokee Valley River

When hunger strikes, a variety of dining options await. Savor the flavors of Asian cuisine at the Noodle Bar, enjoy a range of pub-style food at Winning Streaks Sports Bar, or indulge in a succulent steak at Ruth’s Chris Steak House.

If you wish to extend your visit, book a stay at the onsite hotel. With 300 rooms, including deluxe rooms equipped with flat-screen TVs and mini-fridges, you’ll find all the comforts of home. Take advantage of the fitness center, spa, and indoor pool, or enjoy a variety of live music performances and comedy shows that take place throughout the year.

Catawba Two Kings Casino

Catawba Two Kings Casino is a temporary haven of gaming excitement as the construction of the $273 million destination casino resort is underway. This brand-new facility is open 24/7, catering to your gaming desires around the clock.

As you step inside, you’ll find 1,000 of the latest slot machines, including regular slots, high-limit slots, and progressive jackpots. Whether you’re a casual player or a high roller, the range from penny slots to $25 machines caters to every guest.

But the excitement doesn’t stop there. The casino also offers 34 multi-game machines, featuring electronic table games such as blackjack, multi-hand blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.

Two Kings Casino

Enjoy the thrill of gaming in a smoke-free environment, ensuring a comfortable experience for all.

Don’t forget to join the Lucky North Club to maximize your experience. Every time you play, you earn points that can be exchanged for a variety of rewards. Starting at the Ruby Tier, your benefits increase as you earn more points and progress through the tiers.

Depending on your Tier Status, you can exchange points for food, drinks, and merchandise. You’ll also have access to members-only promotions, exclusive email promotions, exclusive birthday offers, and dedicated parking spots.

List of All North Carolina Casinos

Here’s a list of all North Carolina land based casinos.

CasinoAddressCityPhone Number
Harrah’s Cherokee777 Casino Dr, Cherokee, NC 28719Cherokee(828) 497-7777
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River777 Casino Pkwy, Murphy, NC 28906Murphy(828) 422-7777
Catawba Two Kings Casino538 Kings Mountain Blvd, Kings Mountain, NC 28086Kings Mountain+1 704-750-7777

Biggest Casinos in North Carolina

Take a look at the largest casinos found in North Carolina.

CasinoSize (sq ft)
Harrah’s Cherokee150,000
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River50,000

North Carolina Casinos with the Most Games

Check out the B&M casinos in North Carolina that have the most casino games.

CasinoGame Count
Harrah’s Cherokee3,280 slots, 100 table games, & 20 poker tables
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River1,000 slots, 70 table games, & 15 poker tables

Casinos in North Carolina with Hotels

To extend your stay, here is a list of casinos that have onsite hotels.

CasinoNumber of Hotel Rooms
Harrah’s Cherokee1,108 rooms & 1,108 suites
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River324 rooms

Casino Games in North Carolina

Discover the exciting realm of gaming at North Carolina casinos as we unveil the most popular varieties of casino games.


You’ll find a vast selection of slot games in North Carolina’s casinos, from classic three-reel slots to the latest video slots. With themes ranging from popular movies to mythical creatures. Here’s a list of slot titles in NC casinos:

  • Monopoly
  • Buffalo
  • 88 Fortunes
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Crystal

Casino Poker

Whether you’re a seasoned player or a novice, you’ll find a variety of poker games to test your skills. Take a look at some examples of poker titles you can play in the state:

  • Three Card Poker
  • High Card Flush
  • Texas Hold’Em


You can place your bets on red or black, odd or even, or choose a specific number in a game of roulette. Here is a list of some roulette games available in the state:

  • American Roulette
  • European Roulette


Immerse yourself in the classic game of blackjack at North Carolina’s casinos. Whether you’re an experienced player or a beginner, you can test your strategy against the dealer. Review the list below for examples of available blackjack titles:

  • Single Deck
  • Double Deck
  • Spanish 21
  • Any 2 Card Blackjack

Dice Games

Feel the excitement of the roll at North Carolina casinos with their array of dice games. Take a look below at some of the dice games where you can try your luck:

  • Craps
  • Hazard
  • Sic Bo

Other Games

Discover a variety of casino games at North Carolina’s casinos. In addition to slots and table games, here is a list of other casino games you can enjoy in the state:

  • Electronic Craps
  • Electronic Blackjack
  • Electronic Roulette
  • 90-Ball Bingo

Online Gambling in North Carolina

Read more about North Carolina online gambling laws here:

Riverboat Casinos in North Carolina

Riverboat casinos are unique, floating venues where you can enjoy various casino games while cruising along a river. However, if you’re in North Carolina, you won’t find any of these establishments within the state. But don’t worry, if you’re keen on this experience, you can visit the riverboat casinos that regularly depart from Little River, just across the state line in South Carolina.

Indian Gaming Tribes in North Carolina

The state has entered into gaming compacts with two federally-recognized Indian tribes, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who have been operating Class III tribal Indian casinos since the state created a compact with them in 1994, initially used the compact to include gaming machines in their hall. They later partnered with Harrah’s to manage their casinos.

Over the years, the tribe renegotiated the compact to expand their gaming options. In 2008, they included Class III gaming and in 2011, the compact expanded again to permit poker, and live table games, and to increase the number of hotel rooms, slot machines, and restaurants. 

In 2008, tribal leaders even agreed to let members vote on whether alcohol sales would be allowed at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, a measure that was approved in 2009.

On the other hand, the Catawba Indian Nation opened the temporary Catawba Two Kings Casino in King Mountain, with permanent construction delayed due to federal legal issues.

Both tribes are regulated by their respective Tribal Gaming Commissions, ensuring all gaming activities on their lands are properly overseen. The compacts with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation will remain in effect until 2045 and 2051 respectively, with the option to extend if desired.

Here’s a list of the Indian gaming tribes in the state:

  • Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
  • Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation

Gambling Taxes in North Carolina

In North Carolina, if you’re lucky enough to win at gambling, remember that those winnings are taxable. Not only are you responsible for federal taxes, but you also have a state tax obligation. 

For smaller wins, casino operators won’t withhold taxes, but you’re still required to report these as “other income” on your tax return. If you hit the jackpot, 24% of your winnings will be withheld for federal taxes. However, tribal casinos only withhold federal taxes on large wins, not state taxes.

Regardless, you’re still obligated to pay taxes on those winnings. The flat state tax rate in North Carolina is 5.25%, regardless of your income amount.

To report state taxes, use Form D-400. On Line 6, include your gambling winnings in your “Federal Adjusted Gross Income”. Deductions are entered afterward, and then you can calculate your owed state income tax.

If your winnings are withheld, you’ll receive a Form W-2G outlining your winnings and the amount of tax withheld. Thresholds for receiving this form are $1,200 or more for bingo and slots, $1,500 or more for keno, $5,000 or more for poker, and $600 or more for other types of gambling.

North Carolina Gambling FAQ

When was casino gambling legalized in North Carolina?

Casino gambling was legalized in North Carolina following the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. This federal gambling law allowed tribes to operate casinos on their reservations, opening the door for casino gambling in the state.

What is the legal casino gambling age in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, the legal age for casino gambling is 21 or over. This age requirement applies to all types of casino games. However, it’s important to note that the state’s legal gambling age can vary depending on the type of gambling activity.

Is charitable gaming offered in North Carolina?

Yes, you’ll be pleased to know that North Carolina does allow charitable games. This includes activities like charitable bingo and raffles. So, if you’re interested in these types of games, you can participate in them in North Carolina.

How many casinos are there in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, there are three land-based casinos for you to visit. Two of these casinos are operated by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. The third one is a joint venture between the Cherokee Indians and the Catawba Indian Nation.

What was the first casino to open in North Carolina?

The first casino to open in North Carolina was Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, which opened its doors for the first time on November 1st, 1997. This casino is located on the reservation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Can you smoke in North Carolina casinos?

While the state of North Carolina doesn’t allow smoking inside any indoor businesses, including casinos, some casinos have found a way around this. They provide designated areas for smokers. So, if you’re a smoker, you can still enjoy your time at the casino, just be sure to use the designated smoking areas.

Are there horse racing or off-track betting locations in North Carolina?

No, there are no horse racing betting locations in North Carolina. The state has outlawed horse racing, so you won’t be able to find any places to bet on this particular sport.

Are there dog racing or off-track betting locations in North Carolina?

No, there are no dog racing betting locations in North Carolina. Dog racing is not legal in the state, so you won’t be able to find any places to bet on this particular sport.

Are there other legal restrictions in North Carolina?

US gambling laws vary by state, and North Carolina is particularly strict when it comes to gambling activities. In this state, only tribal casinos are allowed. If you are caught participating in gambling activities that the state deems illegal, you could face severe penalties, including a fine of up to $1,000 or even up to 60 days in jail. Therefore, it is crucial to be aware of these restrictions if you are considering any form of gambling in North Carolina.

Which B&M casinos in North Carolina offer free parking?

In North Carolina, both Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino offer free parking. This means you can enjoy your time at these casinos without worrying about additional parking costs.

Is there a new casino opening soon in North Carolina?

There are proposals currently being worked on to open four new casinos in North Carolina, with three of them slated to be on non-tribal lands. However, it’s important to note that these plans are still in the development stages and have not yet received approval. So, while there’s potential for new gaming venues in the future, there’s no definitive timeline as of now.

Where can I get help regarding gambling addiction?

If you’re struggling with a gambling addiction, you can reach out to the NC Problem Gambling Program for help. They provide support and resources to individuals dealing with this issue. You can contact them at 877-718-5543. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance; they’re there to help you.

Is online casino gambling legal in North Carolina?

As of now, online casino gambling in all forms, including casino apps, is not legal in North Carolina. The state has yet to pass any laws that would legalize online gambling. This means that it remains illegal for you to gamble on casino sites for real money within the state borders.

Can I play casino games online in North Carolina?

As online casino gambling is not permitted in the state, your only option is to visit offshore casino sites instead. This will allow you to play online live dealer games, online slots, and more.

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