Legal Online Poker For North Carolina Residents

North Carolina is a casino-friendly state still trying to figure out exactly how a casino operates. December 23, 2011 was a big day for poker and other casino games in North Carolina: not only did the state legislature pass a law allowing casinos in the state to use live dealers, but a ruling from the US Department of Justice also appeared paving the way for legal and regulated online poker all over the United States. It is shocking to many casino gamers unfamiliar with North Carolina law that live dealers are just now appearing at the state's casinos. Citizens of North Carolina can thank conservative politics for that one.


The DoJ's announcement that Federal Wire Act applies to sports betting only was seen as a godsend for fans of online poker in America. While only a couple of people have ever been prosecuted for playing online poker in America (one paid a fine of about $500, another was never sentenced), the threat of nationwide shutdowns of poker accounts and legal action against gamers was enough to force many American poker players out of the market. At least, temporarily.

Now that the federal government has essentially given states the go-ahead to form their own online poker regulating bodies, expect legal online poker in North Carolina to become more accessible and more competitive.

Since North Carolina already allows casino gaming under certain conditions, experts on gambling law don't expect it to be one of the few states that will resist the huge budget windfall available to states that allow and regulate online poker. North Carolina is in as deep of a budget crisis as any other American state, and should welcome the new revenue.

Best Online Poker Sites For North Carolina Residents

We recommend three poker sites for citizens of North Carolina: BetOnline Poker, poker, and Bovada Poker.

Bovada Poker - $100,000 Tournaments On Sunday (Guaranteed), $150 Entry

If you want a chance to play poker in North Carolina, playing online may be close to your only option.  However, this is not bad news as the Bovada online poker room not only rivals many of its land based counterparts, but has them topped when it comes to customer service and all the different ways you can play whenever, wherever, and however you want.

Whether you want to enter a high stakes tournament of Texas Hold ‘em with a huge amount of guaranteed prize money on the line or just play some quick hand of five-card draw for the potential to earn a couple dollars, Bovada has all of that covered on their dedicated servers that run all day and all night.  Best of all, thanks to their state-of-the-art mobile betting app, you can take the Bovada poker room with you in your front pocket wherever you go.  Now, even the waiting room in your dentist’s office can turn into a glamorous and thriving poker room offering not only great fun and amusement, but plenty of opportunities to win big money.

BetOnline Poker - One Of The Best North Carolina Poker Rooms

For North Carolina residents with a burning love for poker, the popular thought may be that you have to take a long flight in order to get some good poker in.  Thanks to BetOnline's great poker site, this is not the case and you can have exciting hands and tournaments delivered straight into your home.

If you’re wondering whether or not this online poker room is the place for you, check out their pages upon pages of customer testimonial.  This fantastic online poker room doesn’t feel the need to pump their page full of flashy animations or expensive graphics because they are well aware that both their product and their track record speak for themselves.  Perhaps the most impressive ability they showcase is their simultaneous devotion both to newer players and to seasoned poker veterans alike.  In the sit and go tables at BetOnline, players will find an online casino set up featuring hundreds of guaranteed cash tournaments, all for various stakes and winnings.  Best of all, just lurking outside these tables are high stakes guaranteed cash tournaments, a corner of the internet not for the faint of heart.  Users will be pit against the very best players in the world where the play is fast and the winnings can be huge.  Whether you’re hitting the poker tables for the very first time or are desperately seeking a challenge, BetOnline can provide a wonderful home for you.

SportsBetting Poker - NC Residents Get Poker Bonuses Of 25% / Up To $900

If you’re a poker lover living in North Carolina, you probably already that there are a great number of legal online poker rooms available to you that offer not only all the excitement of playing poker in a casino, but some of the best opportunities to win big as well.  However, you may not yet be acquainted with the very best poker site for North Carolina residents, SportsBetting.

Don’t let the name fool you – although this online gambling network is most well-known for its sportsbook, the poker room boasts some of the most intuitive layouts and high functioning technology in the world.  Inside this online poker room, you’ll never have to give a second thought to your bandwidth or technological limitations, which means you can focus all your energy on the game at hand.  It’s a good thing, too because with the incredible sign-up bonus that this poker site offers, you’ll want to hit the poker tables with reckless abandon.  Just for signing up with SportsBetting, you’ll be able to receive 200% of your initial deposits back that will be unlocked just as your account remains active on the poker tables.  This fantastic deal will have you playing your cards and racking in profits for days, and you’ll forget any other poker room even exists.


North Carolina Online Poker Laws

Like many states, North Carolina gambling law focuses on games of chance, ignoring games of skill like poker and other card games. Online poker is still relatively new, and state legislative bodies are not known for their speed in these matters. What gambling laws do exist on the North Carolina books don't appear to address online poker at all.

That's why rulings like the one released by the Justice Department are so important for North Carolina online poker players. The government's decision makes it highly likely that North Carolina will form their own regulatory body to host online poker games in the state's borders, and talk of joining forces with neighboring states to create a larger conglomeration of gaming bodies has poker players in the state excited. There is legal online poker in the USA right around the corner, and it may start with the great state of NC.


Is It Legal to Play Land Based Poker in North Carolina?

If poker is a sensation that has been sweeping the nation, North Carolina residents are caught up somewhere in the straw.  Well before the world series of poker was a televised phenomenon, people in North Carolina were going poker crazy.

Fortunately for those who have fallen in love with the game, North Carolina law does not strictly regulate participation in poker.  In fact, there is nothing written in state or federal laws which can stop a US citizen living in North Carolina from playing poker for fun or for profit.

Sometimes, the information regarding poker in North Carolina can get a little hazy because while it is legal to merely play the game, several permits and sanctions must be received from and processed by the state of North Carolina in order to host a poker game.  Just like dealing in alcohol or tobacco, it is and can be perfectly legal to do so, but a business owner must ensure that they are taking all the proper precautions in order to be in full compliance with the law.

Regarding home games amongst friends, as long as the host of the game is not using a game of poker as an opportunity to collect profit through collecting a rake, (a percentage taken off each pot that is profit to the host and/or poker room) then they are within their rights to do so.  However, they must be careful not to do anything that may be construed as collecting profits off of the game.

Where to Play Legal Poker in North Carolina

For those who want to play legal poker in a poker room in North Carolina, there is both good news and bad news.  First for the good news:  it is entirely possible to do so.  Now, the bad news.  There is only one state sanctioned poker room in North Carolina.  In a state with the land mass the North Carolina has, it’s entirely possible that many North Carolina residents will be stuck out in the cold.

However, those that can make it out to Harrah’s Cherokee Poker room will be rewarded with daily No Limit Hold ‘Em tournaments with varying stakes and buy ins.  Players may choose to participate in tournaments ranging from $30 all the way to $160, with obvious potential for big winnings along with the thrill of playing poker face to face, against a live opponent.

Unfortunately, the options at Harrah’s are a bit limited, where you can play anything you like as long as it’s no limit hold ‘em.  Of course, by holding a home game amongst friends North Carolina residents can circumvent the restrictions on game types, however, they are strongly advised to avoid anything that could be construed as collecting profits from the game as this could put them in a legally culpable position, and it goes without saying that home games will most likely put players in a much worse position to collect huge profits.


Note: This is not meant to be read as advice about legal online poker in The United States. For questions about the legality of playing online poker in North Carolina, consult a lawyer.