North Carolina’s two tribal casinos, owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and managed by Caesars, will be able to offer legal sports wagering as the state became the 17th to put the pastime onto the statute books late last week. 

Governor Roy Cooper signed off S154, one of two concurrent bills, paving the way for Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort to offer sports betting on an exclusive basis. The second bill remains in flux and is subject to an intelligence gathering effort.

Crucially, there is no provision for mobile betting, with all wagers to be placed on location. However, there is no requirement for an integrity/royalty fee in the bill and, unlike other states, there is no veto on betting on collegiate sporting events held within North Carolina which would including basketball at Duke University and the University of North Carolina.

The lack of a mobile betting provision in North Carolina’s legislation is puzzling, especially given the comparatively low estimates for sports betting revenue from the two casinos. It is expected they will generate just $14m annually, out of which the state will receive less than $1m. 

The direct opposite will be in effect in neighboring Tennessee which recently passed its own sports betting bill. The Volunteer State has no casinos, hence there will be no terrestrial gaming – just online and mobile. Operators there, however, will be mandated to use official league data.