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North Carolina Poker Laws: Everything You Need to Know

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North Carolina Poker Laws

Whether you’re a resident of North Carolina or just visiting, you may wonder what the state’s poker laws are. While there are no specific laws that deal with poker specifically, there are regulations in place that can affect your gameplay. Here we’ll look at these laws and what you need to know to stay on the right side of them.

So whether you’re looking to hit the poker tables while in North Carolina or want to be prepared should the opportunity arise, keep reading for everything you need to know about the state’s poker scene!

Where to Play Online Poker in North Carolina

Online poker is a popular game that can be played for fun or money. Many different websites offer online poker, and each has its own set of rules and regulations. When choosing an online poker site, it is essential to make sure it is legal in your state or country.

In North Carolina, there are two main types of online poker sites: those based offshore and those found within the state. The government does not regulate offshore poker sites and often has higher rake fees. However, they also tend to offer various games and tournaments. On the other hand, online poker sites in North Carolina are subject to state laws and regulations. As a result, they typically have lower rake fees but may not offer as many games or tournaments.

When deciding where to play online poker, it is essential to consider your preferences and budget. For example, an offshore site may be a good option if you are looking for a wide range of games and tournaments. However, a North Carolina-based site may be a better choice if you want to save money on rake fees.

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Is Online Gambling Illegal in North Carolina?

Online gambling in the United States is a popular pastime for many people, especially those who live in North Carolina. However, some people may be wondering if it is legal to gamble online in this state. Unfortunately, the answer is a little bit complicated. While there are no specific laws outlawing online gambling, the state has laws against gambling.

As such, it is technically illegal to gamble online in North Carolina. However, enforcement of these laws is typically only focused on those who operate illegal gambling businesses rather than individuals who place bets online.

So long as you are not operating an illegal gambling business, you will unlikely face legal repercussions for placing bets online. Of course, this is not a guarantee, and you should always check with your local authorities to ensure that you are not breaking any laws before placing bets online.

North Carolina Poker and Gambling Laws

North Carolina’s poker and gambling laws are some of the most restrictive in the country. North Carolina’s poker laws are stringent, as the state has a complete ban on all poker games, including online poker. North Carolina’s gambling laws are also very restrictive. There are no casinos or other forms of gambling allowed in North Carolina.

This makes North Carolina one of the most challenging states to gamble in. However, North Carolina does offer some options for those looking to bet. The state allows Bingo games and lottery tickets to be sold, and a few casino cruise ships operate out of North Carolina ports.

A Detailed Look at North Carolina Gambling Laws

North Carolina is one of the states where the issue of whether poker is to be understood as a game of chance or not is critical to whether it is to be deemed illegal or not. The law as it relates to gambling in North Carolina reads as follows:

Section 14-492, Gambling: Except as provided in Chapter 18C of the General Statutes or in Part 2 of this Article, any person or organization that operates any game of chance or any person who plays at or bets on any game of chance at which any money, property or other thing of value is bet, whether the same be in stake or not, shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.” (1)

So betting on any game of chance for money is illegal in North Carolina, other than provisions in Chapter 18C which governs the North Carolina State Lottery, or in part 2 of this section, which concerns the allowance of gambling on tribal lands. (2). So in other words these are the only two exceptions permitted in the state to bet on games of chance.

Since the statute is silent as to how games of chance are to be defined, this has been left up to the courts to decide. There is an element of both skill and chance in the game of poker, and whether it is to be defined as a game of chance or not for the purposes of legal interpretation depends first on whether this addresses the preponderance of chance versus skill, which is widely open to debate, or whether any element of chance would suffice to fit this definition.

The North Carolina courts have thus far taken the latter definition, whereby if there is an element of chance at all in a game, it is a game of chance. In Joker Club v. Hardin, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled that “since the instrumentality of victory is not entirely in a players’ hands” and that there must be “unavoidable uncertainty as to the results, chance predominates over skill in the game of poker.” (3)

Interestingly enough though, in the state’s compact with the Indians to allow gambling, one of the conditions is that the games offered include an element of skill, which includes poker. (4)

In any case, this addresses an exception to the law, although the law here is clearly too vague and poorly worded to properly set out the scope of this law, and we are left with being subject to fairly arbitrary decisions like this by the courts, but in the absence of clearer definitions, this is the only recourse.

So right now based upon the case law, poker is included in the law against gambling in North Carolina, which includes any form of poker playing not on an authorized venue on tribal lands, including home games played for money.

North Carolina Gambling Law Resources

Short History of Gambling in North Carolina

Gambling has been a part of North Carolina’s history for centuries. Native Americans used gambling to resolve disputes and pass the time. Early settlers brought card games and dice from Europe, and gambling soon became popular in taverns and homes across the colony.

In the 1800s, horse racing became a popular form of gambling, and many North Carolina towns had their track. Gambling was even used to raise funds for the Revolutionary War. However, many colonists also saw gambling as a moral vice, and it was banned in 1791.

Despite the ban, gambling continued to flourish in North Carolina, and it wasn’t until the early 1900s that it began to decline in popularity. Gambling is still prevalent in North Carolina, but the state heavily regulates it.

The Future of Gambling in North Carolina

North Carolina Poker Laws

Gambling in North Carolina is currently undergoing a period of change. In 2017, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill that allowed casino-style gambling in the state. This was a significant shift from the previous ban on all forms of gambling. Since then, several casinos have opened their doors to the public.

However, the future of gambling in North Carolina is still uncertain. The state legislature will likely revisit the issue in the coming years. There is a strong possibility that further changes will be made to the laws governing gambling in the state. For now, North Carolina remains where casino-style gambling is slowly becoming more accepted. Nevertheless, it is still unclear what the long-term future holds for gambling in North Carolina.

Final Thoughts

Let’s make it simple; it is essential to remember that North Carolina poker laws are subject to change at any time. As such, you are staying up-to-date on the latest developments is always a good idea. Furthermore, doing so can ensure that you always comply with the law.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online Poker Legal in North Carolina? Any online gambling is prohibited under the state’s general legislation.
Can I Gamble Online in North Carolina? Yes, you can gamble online in North Carolina. However, enforcement of these laws is typically focused on the operators of online gambling sites and not the individual gamblers.
What is the Legal Age to Gamble in North Carolina? The legal age to gamble in North Carolina is 21. This is the same as the legal drinking age in the state.
Where can I Find More Information About North Carolina’s Gambling Laws? If you want more information about North Carolina’s gambling laws, contact the North Carolina Attorney General’s office. You can also find a wealth of information on the internet. However, it is always best to consult an attorney before deciding on gambling in North Carolina.

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.
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