NC online sports betting begins as Caesars accepts first wager

Caesars Harrah's
Image: Shutterstock / Billy F Blume Jr

Caesars Sportsbook has made history in a new regulated sports betting market.

On Friday, the gambling operator became the first sports betting platform to launch online wagering in North Carolina ahead of a statewide mobile launch scheduled for March 11. Caesars has begun accepting wagers on at two casinos in the state under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and a deal with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

“The Caesars Sportsbook app is the perfect complement to our in-person retail sportsbooks in Western North Carolina,” said Caesars Digital President Eric Hession in a statement. “We’re thankful to be able to offer wagering at the Harrah’s Cherokee properties as part of our longstanding relationship with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and with the sports calendar heating up, there is a lot to be excited about.”

Caesars secured a partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in January to offer online wagering across the entire state pending regulatory approvals. Earlier this week, seven operators were approved for an online wagering license in North Carolina, which included bet365, BetMGM, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics Sportsbook, Underdog and FanDuel.

Caesars was also approved to operate in North Carolina but under a supplier license due to its relationship with a federally recognized tribe. A North Carolina ruling requires holders of an online wagering license to have a partnership with a venue or professional sports team.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars have collaborated in the past.

The two entities offer retail wagering at two brick-and-mortar casinos, which include Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino. Caesars holds exclusive rights for online wagering at the two facilities and on tribal lands.