If you’re looking for a getaway in the US, North Carolina and South Carolina have a lot to offer. Besides sightseeing and sampling local delicacies, however, you might also be curious to discover whether casinos exist in either – or both – states.
South Carolina gambling is a complex topic, and that’s also the case for wagering in North Carolina. In this article, however, we will break down everything and make the gambling landscape in both states easier to understand.
Does that sound interesting to you? Great. In that case, let’s dive in and get started.
Are Casinos in North Carolina Legal?
For the most part, gambling in North Carolina is strictly prohibited. However, tribal casinos are permitted – and you will find a selection of these in the country.
Commercial casinos are a no-go, though, and you also cannot bet on sports unless it’s at a tribal casino. Slot machines are also only permitted at the state’s small selection of tribal casinos.
Until 2007, video poker was legal in the state. You could participate in video craps, video keno, and much more. Since July of that year, however, doing so has been outlawed.
Casinos in Cherokee, North Carolina
While commercial casino gambling is illegal in North Carolina, tribal gaming is allowed – and you will find a large casino operated by Harrahs in the state. It’s located on Casino Drive, which is in the resort town of Cherokee.
The casino resort is significant in terms of size. You can participate in multiple table games, including roulette, craps, and blackjack.
That’s not all, though. You will find numerous forms of poker, including Texas Hold’em and Pai Gow. On top of that, the casino has multiple slots – including branded favorites like Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune.
The Harrahs Casino in Cherokee also has a sportsbook where you can wager on the likes of the NFL and MLB. On top of that, you’re also able to wager on college sports.
Are There Casinos in South Carolina?
Gambling in South Carolina is a complex topic, and in most instances, you’re not allowed to play a wide selection of casino games. When on land, you’re only permitted to participate in the state lottery and bingo – along with raffles.
With that being said, cruise ships are allowed to offer gambling services when they’re in the water. Ships that are on their way to a regulated casino can also offer gambling services to those on board.
Casinos in Myrtle Beach
Considering South Carolina’s gambling laws, you won’t find it surprising that you have some gambling opportunities on the water. In the Myrtle Beach area, The Big M is a significant ship offering casino services to visitors.
On the boat, you can play a wide variety of slot machines – with more than 400 available. You will also find several table games, such as 8 Card Poker and blackjack. Craps is also a possibility.
The Big M casino has two ships with different schedules throughout the week. You will need to be at least 21 years old to board, and you’re not allowed to take photos.
Are Neighboring States Friendlier to Gambling?
Seeing as North Carolina and South Carolina gambling is largely outlawed, it’s worth looking at nearby states and seeing if their laws are any more lenient. Below, you’ll find the differing laws for states in the same region.
Virginia’s gambling laws are a little difficult to understand. Online sports betting is legal, and the market launched at the beginning of 2021. Land-based sports wagering will be permitted in the future, and the state is currently working on building casinos that can facilitate this.
When the casinos in Virginia are completed, they will feature in five different locations. To gamble on regulated activities in Virginia, you must be at least 21 years old.
Georgia is not too accommodating toward gambling. Sports betting and casino games are both illegal, and so are most other kinds of wagering. However, you can bet on the state lottery – while bingo and raffles are also permitted.
Although many states have legalized sports betting in recent years, Georgia is not one of those. However, some individuals have made efforts to try and reform legislation in this respect – and it’s likely that we’ll see other attempts in the future.
Alabama is known for being one of the most conservative states in the US, and its stance on gambling reflects that. At the time of writing in December 2022, you’re not allowed to wager on sports or play casino games – unless they’re operated by one of the state’s recognized tribes.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only tribe in Alabama that operates casinos. You will find three of them operated under the name of Wind Creek in the state.
Other than that, you’re allowed to play pari-mutuel and bingo in Alabama – but that’s about it.
Tennessee allows online sports betting within state boundaries, and it legalized gambling of this kind in 2019. The market went live in 2020, and you can choose from several operators in the state now.
Having said that, Tennessee does not have any land-based casinos as of December 2022. You can, nonetheless, bet on horse racing and the official state lottery. Bingo is also legal in some contexts.
To bet on sports in Tennessee, you need to be at least 21.
Florida is one of the largest states in the US. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many people have cast curious looks in its direction to see how its gambling laws reform. Casinos are allowed in the state, but only if they are operated by native tribes. You’ll find a number of venues throughout the Sunshine State, each offering a broad number of different games.
However, commercial operators are not currently allowed to have a presence in Florida. You can bet on a wider selection of games than is possible in other states that restrict gambling, though. For example, horse racing and greyhound racing are both permitted.
The legal gambling age in Florida is 21 unless you’re playing lottery games. In those cases, the legal age is 18.
Kentucky is another state that has relatively restrictive gambling laws. Sports betting is illegal in most cases, as are casino games. However, you’ll find a selection of venues that are legally allowed to offer forms of casino gaming – such as slot machines.
Kentucky is a popular state for betting on horse racing, and you can wager on games of this kind in the state. If you want more casino options, you’ll find nearby states with several venues close to the border. So, if you have a car, you might want to visit some of these.
Where in the US Should You Go for Casinos?
Considering that your options are limited for gambling in and around the Carolinas, it’s worth looking at where else you can go to wager. Below is a selection of US states with more lenient gambling laws.
Nevada is the king of gambling in the US. You will find an abundance of casino choices in Las Vegas, with all kinds of different games also available. In addition to that, you can bet on sports in the state – and many casinos have their own sportsbooks for you to watch the big game.
Online sports betting is legal in Nevada, in addition to land-based stuff. However, you can only play casino games in the state if you go to a casino in person. Online poker is allowed, though, so you might find that is a viable alternative.
The legal gambling age in Nevada is 21.
Oklahoma might not seem like the first place you think of when you look at gambling in the US. However, you will find a wide selection of tribal casinos in the state – though commercial casinos are not permitted.
Tribal casinos in Oklahoma are allowed to offer table games and various other types of gambling, such as slots and poker. Live entertainment is also a possibility. There are over 100 casinos throughout the state.
To gamble in Oklahoma, you need to be at least 18 years of age.
Colorado is another state that is relatively welcoming toward gambling, and it has a thriving sports betting scene. You’re allowed to bet on the biggest events both in person and online, and you’ll also find numerous casinos.
At Colorado’s casinos, you can play slot games and blackjack – along with craps, poker, and more. There are dozens of venues in the state, and these are largely dotted around three cities. The legal gambling age in Colorado is 21.
North Carolina and South Carolina: Not the Friendliest States to Gambling
North Carolina and South Carolina gambling is tricky to navigate, and you’re not going to find a huge wealth of options. You’ll find a couple of places, but if your purpose of travel is primarily to gamble, you might want to consider looking elsewhere.
Other states elsewhere in the US have a much larger selection of casinos, and you’ll find numerous games available. Having said that, there are plenty of other reasons to visit North Carolina and South Carolina. So, you can consider staying at a casino resort for a bit before venturing further afield.
While the laws in these states might change at some point, we can’t say for certain whether that will be the case.