Can You Play Online Poker in North Carolina?

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Last Updated: January 28, 2024

North Carolina online poker

No, you cannot play online poker in North Carolina. Currently, the state is yet to introduce online gambling laws that would allow poker operators to obtain a license to operate within the state. Some other forms of online gambling, such as online lottery, sports betting, and betting on fantasy sports, are permitted, but playing online poker remains illegal. 

Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in North Carolina

The law in North Carolina prohibits betting on any “game of chance” except otherwise sanctioned by the state. Although the law does not specifically mention online poker, it does appear like poker is considered illegal since it is largely a game of chance.

North Carolina gambling law does allow brick-and-mortar casinos to operate live poker rooms, but poker fans who prefer to play online have very limited options since there are no in-state sites offering North Carolina online poker. 

A risky workaround to this problem is to play online poker on offshore sites such as BetOnline, ACR Poker, and Bovada. These are international sites that hold licenses in countries outside the United States. Offshore sites are not affected by the restrictions that prohibit online poker in North Carolina. 

Although they might seem like a fine option for people who want to play poker for real money in North Carolina, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing poker on offshore sites. That’s because offshore sites are generally not as safe as you would want as a player when it comes to fund safety and game integrity.

These sites operate outside the legal jurisdiction of North Carolina and federal authorities. This means they’re not subject to the same standards of fair gameplay and player security as regulated sites. 

Also, there is no guarantee of getting your money when you play on these sites. There have been reports of offshore sites not processing payouts when players win, and they don’t have measures in place to protect players from fraud and illegal activities. 

Potential North Carolina Poker Sites to Launch in the Future

NC online poker sites

Poker has been popular in North Carolina for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.

It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in NC will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.

When online poker is finally legal in NC, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.

BetMGM Poker North Carolina

BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.

We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.

In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.

It is also likely that BetMGM Poker NC will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.

PokerStars North Carolina

Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.

Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.

But even without that particular element, NC is a big enough market on its own.

What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think North Carolina would be an exception.

PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.

WSOP North Carolina

The third NC poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities. has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.

A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.

WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.

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